ATP Tour

Selection worries for SA Davis Cup team

2017-03-22 12:35
Raven Klaasen (Getty Images)

Cape Town - With a strongest possible line-up South Africa would, in all probability, take a decisive step forward to improve the country's Davis Cup status in the tricky Euro-Africa Group Two tie against Slovenia.

But on the eve of Wednesday afternoon's announcement of the squad for the April 7 to 9 tie, Tennis South Africa is effectively wrestling with a bid to make all the country's best players available for the tie at the Irene Country Club on the outskirts of Pretoria.

And unless this ambitious objective materialises, the Slovenia team with the 136th world-ranked Blaz Kavcic and 145th-ranked Grega Zemlja could prove something of a handful.

There are high hopes that the in-form Raven Klaasen will again make himself available to spearhead the South African effort, but the world's No 10-ranked doubles player, who last week annexed the prestige Indian Wells Masters title with American partner Rajeev Ram, is currently embroiled in a hectic tournament programme.

And while Klaasen, who is playing in the ATP Masters tournament in Miami this week has reiterated a desire to help South Africa in the Davis Cup whenever possible, last-minute discussions will decide the issue.

There has also been speculation that up-and-coming South African No 2 singles player, Lloyd Harris, would not be available to face the Slovenians, with Tennis South Africa neither prepared to confirm or deny the reports.

TSA officials, however,  have seemingly made tentative approaches regarding the issue of No 1 South African singles player Kevin Anderson ending an almost six-year, self-imposed unavailability from Davis Cup competition.

And if successful, acquiring Anderson's services against Slovenia would be something of a coup, despite the gangling 6ft 8in big-server's world ranking slipping from 10th to the mid-seventies over the past 18 months.

TSA, however, is remaining mum over all the player issues and like Walt Disney's Brer Rabbit saying "nuffin" until the imminent squad announcement.


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