Ghana’s female tennis team finished 8th in the just ended 2022 Billie Jean Cup at Bellevue Tennis Club in the city of Ulcini, Montenegro. 11 countries participated in this year’s Billie Jean King Cup Africa/ Europe zone III qualifiers.
Team Ghana’s performance was an improvement on the previous year. With one win in the group stage (against Azerbaijan), the team beat arch rivals Nigeria in the 7th to 9th play-offs, before losing their final play-offs game to Armenia.
No.2 seed Elizabeth Kapari Bagerbaseh began the last match against Armenia on a bright note as she outwitted her opponent, Arevik Tumanyan 7-6(1), 6-4.
In the battle of top seeds, Armenia’s Ani Amiraghyan resisted any attempt by Ghana’s Ruth Crawford as she won 6-3, 6-2.
The doubles also went to the Armenian team as Arevik Tumanyan partnered Gabriella Akopyan to beat Ghanaian duo Ruth Crawford and Elizabeth Bagerbaseh 6-3, 6-4.
Team Ghana went to the tournament without the head coach Albert Arthur and the fourth player Annette Cruikshank. The reason given by the Ghana Tennis Federation was the two were refused visas by the Serbia embassy in Nigeria (a recommended embassy for Montenegro Visa). Visa wasn’t granted to Ghana alone, but the Nigerian team also suffered such.
The captain of the Team Ghana, Elizabeth Kapari Bagerbaseh, admitted the team picked many positives from the tournament.
Overall, it has been an okay performance across board. There are positives we would take from the tournament, such as participating and getting exposed to how competitive we can be when we step up,” she said.
Credit: Gabriel Amoakoh