Cape Town - Despite his enhanced stature - with a year-end world doubles ranking of 12th - long-time South African Davis Cup stalwart Raven Klaasen has committed to playing in the Davis Cup next year.
But while emphasising the importance with which he has always considered the "honour" of representing his country, the 34 year-old Klaasen has now inserted a conditional aspect to his Davis Cup appearances.
"In past years," he explained from his home base in Cape Town where he is preparing for the 2017 season, "not hell or high water could have stopped me playing in a Davis Cup tie if selected.
"But now the bones are getting a little older and with a busy tournament programme to take into account and the extensive travelling involved, I'll have to review the situation and the implications for each Davis Cup tie as it materialises."
And with this in mind, Klaasen says he has still to discuss with South African Davis Cup captain Marcos Ondruska what his situation will be for the opening Euro-African Group Two encounter that gets underway at the Irene Country Club in Centurion on February 3.
The tie against Estonia follows only days after the completion of the Australian Open and with Klaasen revealing that one of his main objectives and ambitions in 2017 will be to gain an elusive first Grand Slam title with American partner Rajeev Ram, he might waver over committing to making a hurried return to South Africa for Davis Cup action.
Klaasen points out that the Australian Open has traditionally been a happy hunting ground for him, having already reached the final in the opening Grand Slam tournament of the year in Melbourne with Eric Butorac.
Also, with South Africa ranked 58th among Davis Cup nations against Estonia's 79th, a home victory would be on the cards with or without Klaasen - with his services a great deal more vital in a tough, potential away tie against Slovenia in April if a victory is achieved against Estonia.
Unlike Klaasen, top South African singles player Kevin Anderson has not given any inkling of ending a self-imposed five-year exile from playing in the Davis Cup - and if there is no change of heart in this respect it will be up to the promising and burgeoning 19-year-old Lloyd Harris to lead the singles charge against Estonia and in the likely tie against Slovenia as well.