Algeria's Davis Cup tennis team got off to a torrid start at the Euro/African Group IV competition.
Placed in Group A with Andorra, Liechtenstein and Sudan, the Algerian squad won all three of their round robin matches, held in Ghana between February 14-20. During this phase of the competition, singles stars Nourredine Mahmoudi and Abdelhak Hameurlaine both won all three of their matches. Algeria's lone blemish in the round robin was a loss by the doubles team of Said Ali-Akkal and Abdel Wahid Henni to Andorra's tandem of Kenneth Tuiier and Jean-Baptiste Poux 1-6, 1-6.
The Algerian team may have grown overconfident following its resounding success in the round robin phase. Whatever the cause may have been, it was outmatched in the playoff stage, preventing the team from capturing either of the top two positions. On February 19, Algeria fell to Mauritius 1-2. The teams split the singles match, and Mauritius prevailed in the decisive doubles match. The next day, Algeria went up against Andorra, a squad it had defeated three days earlier. This time, however, the outcome was reversed. Once again, Algeria failed to prevail in the decisive doubles match, causing the team to finish fourth among the eight nations. Only the top two squads, Ghana and Mauritius, advance to Group III in 2001.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)