ATP Tour

SA off to dream Davis Cup start

2017-04-08 08:37
Lloyd Harris (Reg Caldecott)

Cape Town - South Africa made a dream start to their Davis Cup Euro/Africa Group 2 second round tie against Slovenia at the Irene Country Club on Friday.

The home team lead 2-0 after singles players Lloyd Harris and Nik Scholtz won their singles rubbers in impressive style.

Harris opened for South Africa and needed only 1 hour 14 minutes to whip Slovenian number two Mike Urbanija 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 in an impressive performance of focused tennis.

“I felt like today was a really good match for me. I was really comfortable out there today and felt I focused on the task and put my opponent under a lot of pressure. I played aggressively on my forehand, moved well and stepped into the returns and served on song” said Harris.

“I am getting more comfortable playing Davis Cup and today with me going out first admittedly I had some nerves but I know I have a duty to perform for myself and my country and I am maturing in my Davis Cup game each tie,” continued Harris.

Nik Scholtz, the South African number two ended up hero of the day.

Scholtz dug deep, fought hard, saved match points and came from behind to beat top Slovenian Grega Zemlja 3-6, 6-7 (7/1), 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (9/7) in a gruelling 4 hours 20 minutes.

Scholtz came from behind in each of the third, fourth and fifth set tiebreakers and saved two match points in the third set tie breaker en route to winning the rubber.

Scholtz served 35 aces and beat a played ranked some 300 spots above him on the world rankings.

“It was really an unbelievable match. The atmosphere was great, my entire family were in the crowds and I was happy to have pulled off the win. I had to dig deep, Grega is a great player, I respect him a loss and it’s never easy to lose a match like this. I have been in the same situation so my heart goes out to Grega.”

Marcos Ondruska, the South Africa team coach said he was delighted to go in Saturday 2-0.

“We in a good position but still have to work hard in making sure our doubles team have the best shot at winning on Saturday. I am very proud of both Lloyd and Nik who really impressed today. Lloyd was in top form and played a simply brilliant rubber. Nik was a worrier of note tonight. What a fight he put in. Nik even began cramping in the final set and I had to rub him down on the change overs to keep him going. But Nik was fighting hard against a player who has been ranked in the world’s top 50 and he came through with flying colours. “

On Saturday South Africa’s favoured doubles team of Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse will play Slovenians Tomislav Ternar and Tilen Zitnik at 15:00.

The reverse singles will be played on Sunday at 11:00.

Read more on:    atp tour  |  davis cup  |  tennis
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