ATP Tour

Anderson continues Davis Cup stay-away in 2017

2017-01-16 14:50
Kevin Anderson (AP)

Cape Town - Kevin Anderson will continue his protracted Davis Cup stay-away in 2017 - and Tennis South Africa is not overly optimistic about Raven Klaasen's availability for next month's Euro-Africa Group Two tie against Estonia at the Irene Country Club.

But it is not totally unexpected news concerning the country's top singles and doubles players before Tuesday's squad announcement that has cast an element of doubt about South Africa's prospects against the East European minnows.

Instead it is the alarming drop in the world rankings of number two possible singles selections Nikala Scholtz and Tucker Vorster that suggests the Irene match-up might not be the cake walk for South Africa that had initially been envisaged.

Scholtz has dropped from a career-best 320th world ranking to 522nd and Vorster, a Davis Cup regular last year, is down from a career-high 278th to 644nd.

Up-and-coming 19-year-old prospect Lloyd Harris,  currently South Africa's number two singles player with a world ranking of 284th, is earmarked as a likely choice to lead the Davis Cup singles charge.

But who exactly is available and who will be selected for the two singles berths remains uncertain right now.

While the astute world 12th-ranked doubles player, Klaasen, would certainly be missed if his forays in the present Australian Open Grand Slam tournament prevents him from making himself available to face Estonia, South Africa has a ready-made fill-in doubles combination in Ruan Roelofse and Dean O'Brien, who are both ranked among the top 200 doubles players in the world.

And it is the doubles that could be crucial in what would appear a critical and must-win tie against the Estonians.

While persistent injuries meant there was little or no chance of Anderson competing against Estonia, the news from TSA circles that Anderson is unavailable for the Davis Cup for 2017 is disconcerting despite his ranking now having slipped from 12th to 80th in the world in the space of little more than a year.

The news from Klaasen is more reassuring, with the sentiment that he will be available for Davis Cup action whenever he believes it will be "conceivably possible."

Read more on:    tsa  |  davis cup  |  kevin anderson  |  tennis
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