Tennis

Anderson blow for SA team

2012-08-14 10:40
Kevin Anderson (File)

Johannesburg - South Africa's Davis Cup team will face Canada in their upcoming World Group Playoff tie without their top player Kevin Anderson in Montreal from September 14-16.

Tennis South Africa (TSA) announced that 21-year-old Nikala Scholtz will be joining Izak van der Merwe (ranked 152nd), Rik de Voest (177th), and Raven Klaasen (ranked 551st) at the Uniprix Stadium in Montreal for the tie.

"Unfortunately, after much deliberation, I cannot commit to playing in the upcoming Davis Cup tie against Canada in September," said Anderson.

"This is not a decision I have taken lightly as I always consider it an honour to represent my country.

"However, the tie comes at the end of a long hard court season which has traditionally taken its toll on my body, especially my knee.

"In the summer of 2011, my knee injury reached a climax and I compromised it by playing Davis Cup - a decision which cost me eight months of rehabilitation.

"The knee is still healing and my doctor and physio believe I need to undergo further treatment and rehabilitation at the end of the hard court season, beginning straight after the US Open.

"I wish my compatriots great success and I will be right behind the team and look forward to joining up with them again when my body is fully ready."

Scholtz is the son of former Western Province rugby player Calla Scholtz.

The team captain, John-Laffnie de Jager, admitted he was also disappointed that Anderson has chosen not to play but understands he made a decision that staying healthy and his own career this year were his priorities.

"I have to respect that and good luck to him," De Jager said.

"My job is now to focus on the guys who will be playing and making sure they are ready to win this very important tie for us.

"Izak, Rik and Raven are experienced Davis Cup players and know what to expect.

"Nikala Scholtz was our top junior and has been playing great tennis for the University of Mississippi.

"This will be a great experience for him and an opportunity to become part of the Davis Cup family."

Canada and South Africa will meet for the second time although the first tie between the two nations was all the way back in 1913, when Canada claimed the victory.

Although South Africa were initially awarded home advantage they asked to switch the tie to Canada for financial reasons.

Canada have spent just a single year in the World Group in their latest spell at the top level of Davis Cup competition.

In the first round they were overpowered by a star-studded French team in Vancouver, leading them to have to fight for their place in the division for next year.

South Africa are bidding for a place in the top tier for the first time since 1998 but have missed out in the play-offs in each of the last three years.

They saw off the challenge of Slovakia in Europe/Africa Zone Group I earlier this year to try and make it fourth-time lucky in their attempt at promotion.

Read more on:    kevin anderson  |  tennis
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