ATP Tour

O'Brien to open for SA

2013-10-24 14:37
Dean O'Brien (Gallo)

Johannesburg - South African number one-nominated Davis Cup tennis player Dean O'Brien will take on Karen Khachanov in the Euro/Africa Davis Cup relegation play-off tie against Russia on Friday.

At the draw concluded today on Thursday, Khachanov - the number two-nominated Russian - was drawn first from the hat.

O'Brien, who was named for his first Davis Cup call-up last month against Slovenia, did not play any part in that tie.

But this weekend, O'Brien will form a key part of the South African line-up and will get South Africa's weekend campaign underway.

O'Brien was based in Johannesburg before moving to Atlanta in the United States of America and turned professional at the start of the year.

He is currently ranked 563 in the world.

The 23-year-old faces a tough opener against Khachanov (17), with a world ranking of 513.

The Russian heads into the tie on the back of a quarter-final berth at last week's Kremlien Cup played at the same venue as this weekend's Davis Cup encounter.

South Africa captain John-Laffnie de Jager named rookie Japie de Klerk as his second singles player.

De Klerk, from Ashton in the Boland, is currently living and playing US College tennis at the University of Tulsa.

De Klerk will be the next player up for South Africa, in the second game against Russian number one-nominated player, Alex Bogomolov (ranked 80th in the world.

"I am very excited to be playing for South Africa," said De Klerk ahead of Friday's match.

"I am truly honoured to play for my country, I feel confident about my game, and am ready to give of my best."

De Klerk reached the semi-finals of the prestigious NCAA Championships last semester and his aggressive baseline game has impressed De Jager.

De Jager said after a week's training he felt De Klerk was the best option as the number two choice.

"I've came to the decision because De Klerk has been playing well in recent months, and then at training this week he was really impressive," De Jager said.

"That's why I selected De Klerk and I have confidence that he'll do the business and give us our best shot.

"He has nothing to lose and the Russians know very little of Japie which could play to our advantage."

De Jager added that he was happy with the draw.

"It is good for us that Dean is playing first.

"The team has prepared well and now we have to go and execute. It is always a great privilege to represent our country."


South Africa: Dean O'Brien, Raven Klaasen, Tucker Vorster, Japie De Klerk. Captain: John-Laffnie de Jager. Russia: Alex Bogomolov Jr, Karen Kachanov, Andrey Kuznetsov, Konstantin Kravchuk. Captain: Shamil Tarpischev.

Read more on:    tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.