Johannesburg - South African Davis Cup captain John-Laffnie de Jager has confirmed he will take over as coach of Polish doubles pairing Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski ahead of the French Open and Wimbledon Grand Slam tournaments.
Fyrstenberg and Matkowsi, ranked 10th in the world as a combination, were part of the Polish Davis Cup squad that secured a comprehensive victory over South Africa in the final round of this season's Euro-Africa Group One matches last month.
"I was always more of a doubles expert during my playing career, and when Mariusz and Marcin approached me to handle their coaching, I was only too happy to oblige," De Jager said.
The SA captain, meanwhile, said he was delighted with the resurgent form of the country's number two player, Rik de Voest, who last week reached the final of the ATP Challenger event in Kunming, China, and climbed 33 places up the world rankings to 162nd position.
"Injuries, more than anything, caused Rik's slump in the rankings towards the end of last year," said De Jager.
"He is now enjoying an Indian summer to his career and will again be a crucial member of South Africa's team for the critical relegation tie against Slovenia in September."
Further encouraging Davis Cup signs for the future, according to De Jager, included the ongoing improvement shown by Jean Andersen and Ruan Roelefse, stop gap replacements in the tie against Poland, and the emergence of the world's eighth-ranked junior, Wayne Montgomery, as a genuinely exciting prospect for the future.
It remained unclear, however, whether South Africa's top-ranked player, Kevin Anderson, would make an appearance in the tie against Slovenia.
"Kevin has said he will make himself available for Davis Cup matches tie-by-tie," said De Jager.
"Up to this time we have had no definite answer from him regarding Slovenia."