Pretoria - Tucker Vorster
and Fritz Wolmarans gave South Africa the perfect start against a “tricky”
Ireland in the Davis Cup Euro/Africa Group 2 tie being played at
the Irene Country Club outside Pretoria on Friday.
In the opening rubber, South
African No 2 Fritz Wolmarans upset Ireland's top player James McGee 7-6
(7/0), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a 2 hour 55 minute thriller.
Tucker Vorster, the South African No 1 then gave his country a 2-0 lead when he beat Sam Barry 6-1, 6-7 (7/4),
7-6 (7/5), 6-4.
Wolmarans ranked 477th in the world
won a hard fought battle over a player ranked some 327 places higher than him
on the rankings (150th) and who beat Wolmarans in their only previous meeting
back in 2013.
“I am delighted with the win and to be able to put my country in
the lead in front of family and friends means a lot,” said Wolmarans.
All pressure was on Ireland to
win the second rubber.
Vorster started off well taking the first set 6-1 but
the Irish struck back in the second set tiebreaker with Barry winning it 7-4.
Tucker regrouped in the third set with focus and determination bringing the
South Africa through in four sets.
“I knew I had to dig deep and focus on the
game and not the score” says Vorster.
The Pretoria-born Tucker said playing at
home in front of family and friends made him more determined to win. After
3 hours and 24 minutes Vorster sealed the victory with an ace.
Both Wolmarans and Vorster used
their big serves perfectly on altitude to get on top of their Irish opponents.
South African team Captain Earl
Grainger could not have asked for a better start from his team but knows that
the work is far from over.
“I could never have expected this in my wildest
dreams but I know that the work is far from over. We have one more rubber to
win to clinch the tie and celebrations will only happen after that.”
There will be a lot riding on the
Saturday doubles rubber between South Africa’s Ruan Roelofse and Dean O'Brien
as they take on Ireland's James Cluskey and David O'Hare. A win for the South
African doubles pair would see the country take a 3-0 lead or it will be left
for a thrilling Sunday to decide the tie.
Play on Saturday starts at 12:00. Tickets are available at www.webtickets.co.za
DAVIS CUP EUROPE/AFRICA
ZONE GROUP 2 RELEGATION PLAYOFFS
SOUTH AFRICA vs IRELAND
Order of Play/Results
Friday, July 17
Fritz Wolmarans (RSA) bt James McGee (IRE) 7-6 (7/0), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4
Tucker Vorster (RSA) bt Sam
Barry (IRE) 6-1, 6-7 (7/4), 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Saturday, July 18 (12:00)
Dean O’Brien/Ruan Roelofse
(RSA) v James Cluskey/David O’Hare (IRE)
Sunday, July 19 (09:30)
Tucker Vorster (RSA) v James McGee (IRE)
Fritz Wolmarans (RSA) v Sam Barry (IRE)