Cape Town - Estonia’s top tennis player, Jurgen Zopp, the world No 314, was named by his country as part of their team to play South Africa in the Euro/Africa Zone Group II tie.
The tie will be played at Irene Country Club outside Pretoria next weekend (February 3-5).
There was some doubt whether Zopp would make himself available for Estonia but the former world No 71 is confirmed to travel to South Africa with his team on Sunday.
However, Davis Cup rules allow captains to make two nomination changes up to one hour before the draw, which is held a day prior to the tie.
The Estonian team announced is:
Jurgen Zopp (singles 314, doubles 411)
Vladimir Ivanov (dingles 449 doubles 519)
Kenneth Raisma (dingles 705 doubles 1061)
Mattias Siimar (singles 1571)
Captain: Ekke Tiidemann
Marcos Ondruska, the South African captain, says Zopp is Estonia’s “star player”.
“Zopp is a very experienced opponent having played for many years on (ATP) Tour. He was ranked well in the top 100 at one stage and with his favourite surface being hard court, he could be troublesome at Irene Country Club.
“Zopp has been ranked in the 300s for a few years now, but is a very good player and has played really well and won a lot of matches in Davis Cup competition for Estonia. We’ll have to do a good job of scouting during the week and identifying a good game plan against him,” continued Ondruska.
Regarding Estonia’s tactics, the South African captain commented:
“Zopp is very formidable and will push both our singles guys to the max. It should be interesting to see how the rest of the tie plays out. I would think that probably Ivanov and potentially Raisma would make singles appearances. The doubles will be interesting to see whether they pair the two youngsters or put the two singles players in, the drawback being that the wear and tear of longer matches on consecutive days might prove too much for fresher South African players not playing on the Saturday... a gamble either way for the Estonians.”
The South African team named last week is as follows:
Lloyd Harris (singles 315, doubles 667)
Tucker Vorster (singles 356, doubles 464)
Raven Klaasen (singles 0, doubles 16)
Ruan Roelofse (singles 1 225, doubles 135)
Captain: Marcos Ondruska