Russia beat South Africa 3-0
Johannesburg - A stronger and more experienced Russian team defeated South African 3-0 in the Davis Cup Euro/Africa Group 1 relegation play-off Tie in Moscow on Saturday.
In the Saturday doubles rubber the Russian pairing of Konstantin Kravchuk and Andrey Kuznetsov beat Raven Klaasen and Tucker Vorster 2-6 6-3 7-6 (4) 6-2 to secure the tie victory for the home side.
Russia came into the doubles on Saturday leading 2-0 after both their singles players, Karen Khachanov and Alex Bogomolov Jnr won their respective singles rubbers against South Africa's Dean O'Brien and Japie De Klerk.
Khachanov beat O'Brien 7-5 6-1 6-3 to put the Russians onto the score board first and then world number 80, Bogomolov came from a set down to beat De Klerk 6-7 (3) 6-0 6-4 6-1.
In the doubles, despite the solid start by South Africa, the Russians proved that they were a class act in all departments with Kravchuk especially serving well and dominating throughout. Lady luck was certainly not on South Africa's side with net-cards and chair umpire overrules going against them.
To top it all Vorster sustained a back injury at 4-4 in the third set tie breaker, which visibly hampered his efforts throughout the rubber.
Vorster was in so much pain that he had to call for a medical time out at the end of the third set and summons team trainer Lizanne Marias onto court to give treatment. The treatment continued at each change over for the rest of the rubber which wasn't ideal for the South African team.
John-Laffnie De Jager, South African Captain said that the weekend was very disappointing for the team.
"We hate losing, but as a team we have to take the positives out of the Tie. I was really impressed with Japie De Klerk and happy that we had a chance to see him play. Japie has to work hard on certain aspects of his game and if he does that I believe he has a good shot to do well on the pro tour."
De Jager said he was also happy with Dean O'Brien and Tucker Vorster. "Both Dean and Tucker did well but also have some work to do to get them to the next level."
De Jager said that he would regroup with his team and Tennis South Africa next week and set a goal to work their way back into Group 1 in 2014.
On Sunday the reverse singles will be played even though they will be dead rubbers. The International Tennis Federation confirmed that the reverse singles rubbers would be the best of three tie break sets.