ATP Tour

Grainger: We need to move on

2015-07-08 08:34
Earl Grainger (Photo: Reg Caldecott)

Johannesburg - The absence of the country's top-ranked singles player Kevin Anderson will be felt in the Davis Cup team but South Africa's captain Earl Grainger says it is time to move on.

Anderson, the world No 14, announced last week he would be unavailable for national duty ahead of the relegation playoffs of the Europe/Africa Zone Group 2 Davis Cup tie at Irene Country Club in Pretoria from July 17 to 19.

"Whatever the reason Kevin decided not to (commit to Davis Cup) I just wish him all of the best - I would obviously have loved to have had him on the team," Grainger said in a conference call on Tuesday.

"It would have made my life a lot easier but he is a great player... he is doing fantastically well and all I can say is we need to move on with what we've got.

"We've got some great players that just need a break as well, and who will try and follow in his footsteps."

South Africa has further been depleted with top-ranked doubles exponent Raven Klaasen unavailable for this tie.

Grainger named a six-man squad for the tie of which four players have been nominated as per the Davis Cup rules to the International Tennis Federation (ITF).

The singles rubbers will be spearheaded by Tucker Vorster who is ranked 389th and the 426th ranked Ruan Roelofse, while Fritz Wolmarans (singles 497) and Dean O’Brien (doubles 171) will lead the doubles charge.

Grainger said he named a six-member squad as he could make changes to the four players named up to an hour before the official draw on the Thursday ahead of the tie.

Eighteen-year-old Lloyd Harris and Nik Scholtz make up the rest of the team and could be promoted should they impress in the build-up to the tie.

South Africa lost their previous Davis Cup tie 3-2 to Turkey. The loser between the hosts and Ireland will be relegated to Group 3 in 2016.

Grainger said he was confident the team would be able to avoid relegation despite the absence of two of the country's top-ranked players.

He said although they suffered a defeat against Turkey, the team formed a good unit which he believed would hold them in good stead playing on home soil.

"I am looking for a team that will work and box for each other and for the South African public. We've got a passion and that is what I am looking for," Grainger said.

"If we can have that same positive feel and team-work we've got a big chance of winning this tie. We've got a strong tie ahead of us, make no mistake about it."

Read more on:    atp tour  |  davis cup  |  tennis

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