Morocco and Egypt have been promoted to Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Europe/Africa Zone Group II for 2014 after they won their play-offs against Madagascar and Zimbabwe.
Morocco took on Madagascar and Yassine Idmbarek got Morocco off to the perfect start when he defeated Jean-Jacques Rakotohasy 62 75 in the opening rubber of the play-off. Morocco looked on-course for promotion when Hicham Khaddari took the first set 63 off Antso Rakotondramanga in the second rubber. The second set went to a tiebreak and it was the Madagascan who won it 7-3 to force a deciding set.
There was no stopping Rakotondramanga and he took the final set 63 to level the tie at 1-1 and force the deciding doubles rubber. Younes Rachidi and Mehdi Zaidi defeated Rakotondramanga and Tony Rajaobelina 63 62 to send Morocco to next year’s Europe/Africa Zone Group II.
The other promotion play-off saw Zimbabwe take on the hosts, Egypt, and Sabry Sherif won the opening rubber 62 62 to give the Egyptians the advantage. Then came the rubber of the tournament.
Zimbabwe’s Takanyi Garanganga was a set and a double break up against Mohamed Safwat of Egypt, leading 3-0 in the second set. He then dropped serve and was broken again at 5-4, when serving for the rubber. Safwat won the 2nd set tie break 7-5, and then sped to a 3-0 lead himself in the 3rd set.
Garanganga came back strongly and after Safwat managed to save a match point at 4-5 on his serve, he ended up serving consecutive double faults and netting an easy volley on Zimbabwe’s 2nd match point to give Zimbabwe the match after 2 hours and 38 minutes, 64 67(5) 64. Garanganga’s win levelled the tie at 1-1.
Both players would feature in the doubles, but the result was reversed as Safwat teamed up with Sabry to defeat Garanganga and Mark Fynn 63 75, giving the hosts a moment to savour as they claimed promotion to Europe/Africa Zone Group II.
In the positional play-offs, Algeria defeated Namibia 2-1 and Ghana defeated Nigeria 2-1 leaving the two winning nations tied for 5th and the two losing nations tied for 7th. Cameroon defeated Rwanda 3-0 and Botswana defeated Kenya 2-1 so Cameroon and Botswana ended the event tied in 9th place, with Rwanda and Kenya tied in 11th.
Zambia finished in last place due to them having finished bottom of the Pool containing four nations. This meant that they did not compete in the positional play-offs.