Johannesburg – South Africa Davis Cup captain, Marcos Ondruska said that he and his team were still on a high after gaining promotion to Group 1 of the Davis Cup in 2018 this past weekend in Denmark.
But in the same breath, he said that 2018 would be tough and playing in Group 1 was a real challenge. “There are some good teams in Group 1 and each and every one of them is tough.”
Next year’s Davis Cup draw was concluded in London on Tuesday, and unseeded South Africa were drawn to play the winner of the Israel vs Romania tie. Ondruska and his team will have to wait until October to find out who their opponents will be next year February. The Israel vs Romania tie was delayed due to political reasons. Should South Africa play Israel, the tie will be played at home. However, if Romania beat Israel, South Africa will play Romania away.
“Both teams are going to be tough opponents. But obviously to play Israel at home would be to our advantage as we can use home ground conditions to assist us as we as hosts get to choose the altitude, host city, court surface, playing times and balls” said Ondruska.
South Africa have played Israel once before in 2001 away in Ramat Hafharon, Israel where South Africa were narrowly beaten 3-2 by hosts.
The last time South Africa played Romania, was in Johannesburg at Ellis Park in 1994 and South Africa trounced the visitors 5-0. Head to head South Africa lead Romania 3-0 in Davis Cup competition.
"I think everyone is excited about the prospect of playing in Group 1. We look forward to the challenge of playing against tougher teams in this next group. It should be very exciting, especially when you consider that players Like Austria's world number 7 Dominic Thiem are involved in this group. What an opportunity to get guys like this playing in South Africa. As a team we look forward to improving and getting ourselves to the World Group" continued Ondruska.
Should South Africa win the February tie, they will play Euro Africa Group 1 top seeds Czech Republic in round two at home in April 2018. South African tennis fans could see two of the world’s top 100 players namely Tomas Berdych (19) and Jiri Vesely (59) visit our shores as both are regular members of the Czech Republic Davis Cup team.