Cape Town - The final world rankings before
the critical Euro-Africa Group Two Davis Cup tie against Ireland at the
picturesque Irene Club on the outskirts of Pretoria this weekend will provide
an encouraging boost for the back-to-the-wall South African team.
Although the Irish players still have a
substantial ranking advantage for a tie in which South Africa face the
uneasy possibility of being relegated to their lowest-ever Davis
Cup position via competitive matches, local projected singles players Tucker
Vorster and Fritz Wolmarans will both show substantial advances in the rankings
which will officially be released by the ATP on Monday.
Vorster is due to move up 53 places from
389th to 336th in the rankings after successes in two Futures tournament in
Harare in which he ended up the winner on one occasion.
Not as spectacular, Wolmarans will be
ranked 481st - an improvement of 16 places after an Asian sortie in which he
reached the quarter-finals in the Kelowna Open.
"This is the kind of boost we needed
before what is going to be a testing and vital challenge," said South
African Davis Cup captain Earl Grainger, "even though we have the
advantage of playing on home courts.
"I was in Harare to see Tucker
play," added Grainger, "and was pleasantly impressed by his
improvement and dedicated approach."
Grainger's guarded sentiments are reflected
in the fact that top Irish player James McGee still has a far superior ranking
than his counterparts, although unlike the South Africans he will drop four
places to 150th in the new rankings.
Number two Sam Barry also drops four places
in the rankings to 428th place, but the Irish will be fielding all their
strongest players in singles and doubles.
The South Africans, in contrast, are
seriously depleted by the unavailability of top singles and doubles players
Kevin Anderson and Raven Klaasen respectively.