Tennis

Roelofse up 1st for SA

2012-04-05 14:01
Ruan Roelofse (AP)

Johannesburg - South African number two Ruan Roelofse will play Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia in the opening match of the Euro-Africa group one qualifier at the Arthur Ashe tennis centre, in Soweto, on Friday.

The draw was held at the Apartheid Museum on Thursday morning.

Izak van der Merwe will then play in the second match against Slovenian number two, Grega Zemlja.

On Saturday the expected doubles combination of Van der Merwe and Raven Klaasen will be up against the Slovenian pair of Kavcic and Zemlja.

On Sunday, in the reverse singles, Van der Merwe will be up against Kavcic, and Roelofse will take on Zemja in the last match of the tie.

Speaking after the draw, team captain John-Laffnie de Jager was positive about heading into the tie with his young team.

"I'm very happy with the draw. It's good that Ruan is up first. It's his first Davis Cup tie. He can warm up and get it out of the way, and be ready to play," said De Jager.

"Sometimes when you sit around, especially in your first tie, the nerves can really eat you up.

"Izak is in the team; he's playing well and obviously he likes playing in Soweto."

Jean Anderson, who has been named in the South African Davis Cup team for the first time, missed out on a playing role, but De Jager said the tie would be good experience for the youngster.

"It's also his first time in the team and it's good for him to get some experience, and he's a player for the future," De Jager said.

"He has to be ready if anything happens to Izak or Raven. He'll definitely need to step up and play."

Friday singles: Ruan Roelofse (RSA) v Blaz Kavcic (SLO), Izak van der Merwe (RSA) v Grega Zemlja (SLO).

Saturday doubles: Izak van der Merwe (RSA) and Raven Klaasen (RSA) v Blaz Kavcic (SLO) and Grega Zemlja (SLO).

Sunday reverse singles: Izak van der Merwe (RSA) v Blaz Kavcic (SLO), Ruan Roelofse (RSA) v Grega Zemlja (SLO).

Slovenian team: Blaz Trupej (captain), Blaz Kavcic, Grega Zemlja, Janez Semrajc, Nik Razborsek.

South African team: Jean Anderson, Raven Klaasen, Ruan Roelofse, Izak van der Merwe, John-Laffnie de Jager (captain).

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