Johannesburg - All eyes will be on Raven Klaasen in the Davis Cup clash between South Africa and Slovenia, which starts at the Irene Country Club in Pretoria on Friday.
The player is expected to continue with the excellent form that saw him win his first Indian Wells doubles title with American Rajeev Ram two weeks ago. The victory gave Klaasen and Ram their first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title as a team.
It was the first Masters 1000 title for Ram and the second for Klaasen.
The pair knocked out Rafael Nadal (with Bernard Tomic) and Novak Djokovic (with Viktor Troicki) in their second round and quarterfinal matches.
The South African KIA Davis Cup team will clash with Slovenia from Friday to Sunday.
The South African team beat Estonia in February to set up this meeting.
South Africa won and lost a reverse singles, giving them an overall 4-1 victory over Estonia in their Euro/Africa Group 2 first-round tie.
Slovenia beat Monaco 3-2 in Maribor to get here.
The last time South Africa played Slovenia was four years ago away, where they lost 4-1.
South Africa had beaten the same foes a year earlier at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Soweto.
The local team is made up of Klaasen, Lloyd Harris, Nik Scholtz, Ruan Roelofse, Tucker Vorster and captain Marcos Ondruska.
Sipho Montsi will join the squad as an official hitting partner. Montsi, who comes from Pretoria, recently caught the eye of Judy Murray, Andy Murray’s mother, while competing in the junior Australian Open. Murray said Sipho was “one of the most naturally talented players” she had seen.
South Africa will welcome the news that top-ranked Slovenian Blaž Kavcic has been excluded from the four-man squad for undisclosed reasons.
The proceedings will start with an opening ceremony at 14:45, followed by a singles match at 15:00 3pm on Friday.
This will be the first time in South Africa that a tie is played in the late afternoon and continue into the evening under floodlights.
Tennis SA chief executive Richard Glover told his organisation’s website: “We needed to accommodate the tennis and sporting fans that work on Fridays and have busy Saturday morning schedules.”
Italian sportswear Lotto Sport has been unveiled as the official technical apparel partner to Tennis SA for the next three years.