ATP Tour

Doubles win gives SA lead in Davis Cup tie

2017-09-17 09:15
Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse (BLD Communications)

Aarhus South Africa's doubles duo Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse produced a morale-boosting performance as they steamrolled their way to a 6-3 6-0 6-4 win over Danish duo Frederik Nielsen and Thomas Kromann in their Davis Cup Paribas Group II Euro/Africa third-round clash on Saturday in Aarhus.

With this victory, SA has stolen a march on their hosts, Denmark, who need to win both reverse singles on Sunday if they are to thwart SA's promotion bid. The winner of this tie will be promoted to Group 1 in 2018.

On Friday, each team won a rubber and that meant the sides were level-pegging at 1-all going into Saturday's doubles clash.

Marcos Ondruska, captain of the SA Davis Cup squad, was in awe of his doubles team who reigned supreme from start to finish even though the 2012 Wimbledon doubles winner Frederik Nielsen was on the other side of the net.

SA's 2-1 lead made Ondruska a very happy man afterwards.

"I'm ecstatic!" said Ondruska. "It's nice to be 2-1 up rather than 2-1 down.

"We steadied the ship yesterday (Friday) and now we have our noses in front. That is a good feeling.

"There's still a lot of tennis to be played and we won't be taking it lightly.

"We still have to figure out how we are going to take one, if not two, of the singles tomorrow."

Ondruska said Klaasen showed why he is world class doubles and he predicted that he will better his 11th place world raking sooner than later.

" Just watching Raven play out there you can see there is a reason why he is 11 in the world and I think he is going even higher.

"He is incredible, he's everywhere (on court) and he doesn't miss a thing.

"He is also very knowledgeable and that combination is so difficult to play against. His class showed."

Ondruska said Roelofse was playing the best tennis of his career.

"The way Ruan is playing will drive his confidence even higher and the could be outstanding times ahead.

"Every time he and Raven come together they seem to have more energy

"When our ties were at altitude doubles play was a lot trickier. Now that we've down from altitude and it is not so fast, you can see their true level (of play) and the class they are.

"As this match progressed, they went from strength to strength."

Klaasen afterwards that he and Roelofse were "totally in sync" for this rubber. He felt his option-taking was sound on the day.

"When you make the right decisions and it works out you look pretty good." said Klaasen.

"I made a few moves that drew the ball to me and their good shots didn't get points it was like a gut punch for them.

"In the end, we drained their confidence but it wasn't plain sailing." 

Sunday's reverse singles start at 12 noon (SA time) and SA's  Lloyd Harris will lead the charge in the opening rubber.

Read more on:    raven klaasen  |  ruan roelofse  |  tennis
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