SA rookies ready for Davis Cup

2012-03-29 16:57
Ruan Roelofse (File)

Johannesburg - Rookie South African tennis players Ruan Roelofse and Jean Andersen believe they are ready to compete in their first Davis Cup tie against Slovenia in Soweto next week.

Andersen, ranked outside the top 1 000 in the world, will arrive in the country on Friday from Belgium where he has been training.

Roelofse, ranked 377th in the world, is in Stellenbosch with fellow Davis Cup team-mate Izak van der Merwe.

"I'm extremely excited to be called up. I'm more than ready to go," Andersen said on Thursday.

"I've been practising in Brussels and I'm prepared to play some tennis at altitude from tommorow afternoon."

The South Africans were depleted by the withdrawals of SA No 1 Kevin Anderson and veteran Rik de Voest for the Euro/Africa Group I tie at the Arshur Ashe Tennis Centre.

With altitude expected to play to their advantage, however, Roelofse was confident the SA quartet, also including the experienced duo of Izak van der Merwe and Raven Klaasen, could reach the World Group playoffs for the fourth year in succession.

"I was in France when I heard that Kevin [Anderson] had withdrawn and I got a call to find out if I was available," Roelofse said.

"We really feel that we can still do the job and get through this one .

"I have always wanted to compete in the Davis Cup and it's right up there with some of my best achievements."

Andersen said he had played tennis with Roelofse as a doubles partner throughout the year and would be pleased to represent the country in the doubles rubber if called on by team captain John-Laffnie de Jager.

"We are both ready to play if we are chosen to play together, and Izak is there to help out if need be," Andersen said.

"Ruan and I have played almost the whole year together and I think we have done well together."

In the absence of Anderson and De Voest, Van der Merwe has assumed the role of senior player and mentor for the rookies which, according to Roelofse, has helped him with his own game.

"I've been practising with Izak and we have had a chat about the players we'll come up against," Roelofse said.

"I've known Izak for a long time, and have been talking to him about what the daily routines are and what it feels like entering the court for the first time."

South Africa were awarded a bye in the first round of this year's Euro/Africa Zone Group I, while Slovenia beat Denmark 5-0 to progress to the second round.

Read more on:    davis cup  |  ruan roelofse  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.