De Jager upset with Anderson
John-Laffnie De Jager (File)
Johannesburg - South African Davis Cup tennis captain John-Laffnie De Jager says he is disappointed at Kevin Anderson's decision not to play for South Africa against Canada in their World Group playoff fixture in Montreal next weekend.
Anderson is South Africa's No 1 ranked player, but he has pulled out of the tie and made himself unavailable for the fixture.
Instead, Anderson opted to take part in the World Team Tennis final - a mixed professional tennis league played as a team format in the United States.
"For me and the rest of the team it's very disappointing," said De Jager.
"Playing Davis Cup for his country is not a priority for him. He is a world class player and our No 1. I've had a great relationship with Kevin.
"He has always added something to the team and hopefully he can come back and play for SA again."
South Africa must win the tie if they want to progress to the World Group of next year's Davis Cup. The loser will be relegated to their respective zonal group.
"It's going to be a challenge, but the guys are going to go out fighting," De Jager said on Wednesday.
"It will be a tough tie. We are going to leave everything out there on the court. We are going to go in with a attitude that we can win and that we are going to win."
South Africa will be represented by Izak van der Merwe, Rik de Voest, Raven Klaasen and debutante Nikala Scholtz.
The contest will mark the second Davis Cup meeting between the two countries. Canada won the only other encounter in 1913.
South Africa were originally awarded the tie when the draw was announced, but Tennis SA (TSA) announced in May the country could not afford to host the fixture and it was moved to Canada.
De Jager said although the tie was moved abroad, the team was ready to play overseas and did not foresee any problems for the young players.
"The guys are so used to playing away from home," he said.
"We are expecting at least 3000 or 4000 people, and for the guys in the team this is a new experience. One thing I've learnt is that the Davis Cup is not won on paper.
"We are going to go in fighting and we are just going to give 100 percent."
As hosts, Canada were permitted to choose the type of surface and had opted for a hard court surface, identical to the one used at the US open in New York.
"We are very happy with the surface. We don't have altitude there," De Jager said.
"It's going to be exciting. We are fired up and ready for the tie."
Canada named a strong line-up for the clash. Frank Dancevic, Daniel Nestor, Vasek Pospisil, and Milos Raonic have been included in the team and will be led by Martin Laurendeau.