SA doubles pair take the lead
Potchefstroom - The South African doubles pair of Rik de Voest and Kevin Anderson defeated the Netherlands duo of Robin Haase and Jesse Huta Galung in four sets 7-6(7-4) 6-2 6-4 6-4 in their Euro-Africa Group One Davis Cup tie in Potchefstroom on Saturday.
The hosts now lead the tie 2-1 going into the two reverse singles matches on Sunday.
In a blow to the SA team's hopes, doubles specialist Wesley Moodie was not fit to play after struggling with the flu.
Anderson partnered De Voest after both men played the singles matches on Friday.
Haase and Huta Galung were paired in a change from their original doubles team drawn on Thursday, but Haase was always likely to play.
The South Africans lost the first set, but were dominant in the next three sets losing their serve only once in the entire match.
De Voest showed his experience while Anderson used his powerful serves to keep the Dutch on the back foot.
The opening set went according to serve and ended in a tie-break.
The Dutch pair looked more settled than their rivals and won the tie-breaker 7-4 to take the first set.
The South Africans found their form in the second set as they broke the Dutch twice with Haase serving on both occasions.
The first break came in the third game when the South Africans were up 15-40.
A miss hit forehand from De Voest that lobbed over the Dutchman's head gave SA the first break in the match.
The men in green broke the serve again in the seventh game with De Voest hitting the winner once more.
His cross court forehand brought up a 5-2 lead. Anderson held serve in the next game to take the second set 6-2.
The third set started perfectly for the SA team as they broke Huta's serve in the first game.
De Voest was the standout player of the set, and with Anderson serving well the Dutch struggled to challenge their serve.
In the fifth game the SA pair were unable to convert as the visitors came back from three break points down to hold serve.
It looked like the Netherlands had the momentum but they were still unable to break the South Africans as they served out the set 6-4.
The home team continued their form into the fourth set as they broke Haase's serve in the first game.
The SA duo were ruthless as they broke to love and took the lead.
In the following games it went according to serve despite nerves creeping into both sides' game.
In the eighth game it seemed like the Dutch had fought their way back into the match as they broke the South Africans' serve for the first time in the game.
De Voest was serving at 30-40 when Haase struck a reply that clipped the net and lobbed over the heads of the home pair to level the scores at four games all.
The South African's managed to break straight back off Haase's serve to effectively seal the result.
With the big serving Anderson called to close the match, he served to love with two aces to finish.
South Africa head into Sunday's reverse singles needing one win to clinch the tie.
Anderson is listed to play Haase in the first match while De Voest is down to play Thomas Schoorel in the later match.