Marcos Ondruska, South Africa’s newly appointed Davis Cup captain, announced
from Atlanta on Wednesday his squad to take on Luxembourg in their
Euro/Africa Zone Group 2 Davis Cup to be played from 4 – 6 March at the Irene
The squad announced
comprises of Tucker Vorster, Lloyd Harris, Ruan Roelofse, Dean O’Brien and
Ondruska has confirmed that
Kevin Anderson, Raven Klaasen and Nik Scholtz are not available for the
upcoming tie. “I have been in touch with Kevin, Raven and Nik and confirmed
that Kevin remains unavailable at this stage and that Raven due to scheduling
can’t make this tie. Nik has not been playing competitively for the past few
weeks and felt he was not ready to play Davis Cup” said Ondruska.
confirmed Fritz Wolmarans had retired from competitive tennis so could not be
considered. The South African captain will be forced to trim the squad
down to four players by the start of the tie.
Despite South Africa’s top
singles and doubles player Anderson and Klaasen not being available for the
tie, Ondruska said he was pleased that he had announced a solid squad.
Lloyd Harris, aged 18, is in
his first year as a senior player and is one of the most exciting prospects to
emerge in South African tennis in recent years. The Capetonian will be playing
in his first tie should he make Ondruska’s final four players. Harris has
however been part of previous Davis Cup squads as part of the Tennis South
Africa (TSA) programme in grooming up and coming players for Davis Cup duty.
Harris is expected to be
considered for the singles alongside Tucker Vorster whose inclusion should
delight the home crowds as Vorster is a native of the Capital.
South Africa’s second
highest ranked doubles player Dean O’Brien of Sandton made a decision a year
ago to focus on doubles and the decision has paid off with O’Brien climbing the
rankings impressively with him on the verge of breaking into the world’s top
O’Brien should partner Ruan Roelofse who like Harris comes from Cape Town.
Roelofse although has a singles ranking is also concentrating on the doubles on
tour. O’Brien and Roelofse have played together on a regular basis with great
Keith-Patrick Crowley also of Cape Town has been part of the Davis Cup
squad before but has yet to play for South Africa. Crowley who was in South
Africa last year for the Digicall Futures Series has made impressive moves up
the world rankings in recent months especially on the doubles rankings.
Ondruska warned that
Luxembourg would be a strong challenge for South Africa especially with the
visitors expected to name left handed seasoned pro Gilles Muller ranked 40 as
their number one player. “Davis Cup is never easy. It’s a real fight for both
teams to come out tops and anything is possible in Davis Cup” said Ondruska.
“However we have home advantage and high altitude advantage which hopefully
will work in our favour” admitted Ondruska.
“I have heard that Irene
Country Club is a great venue and we hope to get lots of support from the local
tennis supporters" added Ondruska.
Ondruska said he was looking
forward to captaining South Africa for the first time. “I have played a lot of
Davis Cup and have played under a bunch of different captains. Now it’s my turn
to lead the team and make the decisions and choices and I am really looking
forward to it. I see it as a great honour and really can’t wait!”
Luxembourg will only be
naming their side ten days before the tie as per the Davis Cup rules.
South African squad and
their current ranking positions:
Tucker Vorster (singles; 295 doubles; 376),
Lloyd Harris ( singles; 360 doubles; 594 ),
Ruan Roelofse (singles; 726 doubles; 131), Dean O’Brien (doubles; 122) and
Keith-Patrick Crowley (singles; 723 doubles; 303).