Double Davis Cup blow for SA
Stuttgart - Hosts Germany took a 2-0 lead over South Africa, winning both singles matches on day one of the Davis Cup World Group playoff at the Weissenhof Tennis Club in Stuttgart on Friday.
World No 45 Florian Mayer was made to work hard against Izak van der Merwe in a match that was stretched to a tie-break in the fourth set, but Mayer held off South Africa’s No 1 to win 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (8/6). Rik de Voest had earlier lost in straight sets to world No 31 Philipp Kohlschreiber, going down 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 after putting up a solid fight against his more fancied opponent.
Van der Merwe, ranked 159 in the world, did well to claw his way back from 3-1 down in the second set, winning five games in succession to draw matters level at 1-1, but Mayer ran away with it in the third.
The South African, however, came back again and matched the German No 2 throughout the fourth set, eventually losing out narrowly in a tie-break that went to 14 points.
De Voest, ranked 205 in the world, put up a gutsy fight against Kohlschreiber, but the German No 1 took control early on and the South African was eventually outplayed.
After going down in the first set, De Voest became noticeably frustrated and lost some concentration. Following a short chat with captain John-Laffnie de Jager, however, the 30-year-old managed to bounce back.
With Kohlschreiber holding advantage at set point, 5-2 ahead in the second, De Voest won successive games and narrowed the gap to 5-4. But Kohlschreiber maintained composure, and bagged the next game to go two sets up.
In the first two sets De Voest had remained in contention throughout, and the third was no different. After he won the first game, however, Kohlschreiber regained control and went on to secure the match.
2 Rik De Voest lost to 1 Philip Kohlschreiber 4-6 4-6 4-6
1 Izak van der Merwe lost to 2 Florian Mayer 3-6 6-3 1-6 6-7 (6)
Germany lead best of 5 match tie 2-0
Saturday 18 September 2010
Jeff Coetzee//Wesley Moodie (RSA) v Andreas Beck/Christopher Kas (GER)
Sunday 19 September 2010
1 Izak van der Merwe (RSA) v 1 Philip Kohlschreiber (GER)
2 Rik De Voest (RSA) v 2 Florian Mayer (GER)