SA lose Davis Cup opener

2010-09-17 13:59

Cape Town - SA have got off to the worst possible start in their Davis Cup World Group playoff against Germany in Stuttgart on Friday.

South Africa’s Rik de Voest went down in straight sets after putting up a gutsy fight against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first of two singles matches on day one at the Weissenhof Tennis Club.

World No 31 Kohlschreiber took control early on, and while De Voest, ranked 205, put up a mighty challenge, the German secured a 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

After going down in the first set to his more fancied opponent, De Voest became noticeably frustrated and lost some concentration. But following a short chat with South African captain John-Laffnie de Jager, the 30-year-old managed to bounce back.

With Kohlschreiber holding advantage at set point, 5-2 ahead in the second set, De Voest fought back to win successive games and narrow 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 to put the hosts 1-0 up.

The South African team’s No 1, Izak van der Merwe, will face German No 2 Florian Mayer in the seconds singles rubber on Friday afternoon.

Saturday, September 18:

Jeff Coetzee//Wesley Moodie (RSA) v Andreas Beck/Christopher Kas (GER) - 15:00

Sunday, September 19:

Izak van der Merwe (RSA) v Philip Kohlschreiber (GER) - 11:00

Followed by:

Rik De Voest (RSA) v Florian Mayer (GER)