Davis Cup doubles blow for SA

2010-09-18 15:22

Stuttgart - South Africa suffered another blow on Saturday afternoon, with Jeff Coetzee withdrawing at the last minute for the crucial doubles rubber against Germany in the Davis Cup World Group playoff in Stuttgart. The match starts at 15:00.

Coetzee, a doubles specialist, was troubled by a hamstring injury throughout the week, and while the team’s physiotherapists had doubled his treatment in an effort to have him ready, they lost a race against time.

Rik de Voest will now pair up with Wesley Moodie against the hosts in a do-or-die match after the visitors went down 2-0 in the opening singles rubbers on Friday.

And South Africa’s non-playing captain, John-Laffnie de Jager, said he still believed they could pull a point back ahead of Sunday’s reverse singles.

“It would have been better for us if Jeff was able to play, because Wes and Jeff are an accomplished doubles team,” De Jager said.

“But Rik and Wes have played together before. They won in straight sets against Finland earlier this year, and I’m still confident we can win this match.”

South Africa’s top-ranked singles player, world No 65 Kevin Anderson, had withdrawn from the team on the eve of the tie with a foot injury, and both injuries picked up by key players could prove fatal as the South Africans attempt to reach the top flight of the team competition for the first time in 12 years.