Moodie - Altitude will be key

2011-07-01 16:16

Potchefstroom - Doubles specialist Wesley Moodie believes the high altitude of Potchefstroom will weigh in favour of the South African team when they take on the Netherlands in their Davis Cup Euro-Africa Group One tie next week.

"The altitude has definitely suited the South Africans in the past," Moodie said on Friday.

The hard courts on which the tie would be played would also suit the big-serving South Africans, Moodie predicted, and the Dutch side were expected to face a tough challenge in front of the home crowd.

"All our guys are familiar with the hard court," Moodie said.

"I know Kevin (Anderson) and Rik (De Voest) play very well at high altitude and should give us an advantage."

The hosts said they would only reveal Moodie's partner in the lone doubles match, of five encounters in the tie, after the first two singles matches.

It remained likely, however, that Anderson, South Africa's No 1 singles player, would turn out in the doubles encounter.

"I've had a chat with John-Laffnie (De Jager, non-playing captain) so it will depend on the scoreline and we'll have to decide who'll make the best combination," Moodie said.

Anderson, ranked 36th in the world, said he would relish the opportunity to partner Moodie, listed at 27th in the ATP doubles rankings.

"If I'm called on to play doubles it will be great, and with the altitude on hard court, compared to playing on clay, it won't be as tiring," said Anderson who returns for his first Davis Cup tie in three years.

Moodie, who lost in the third round of the men's doubles at Wimbledon on Wednesday, admitted he had not taken his chances at the Grand Slam event.

"I felt I could have played a bit better," he said.

"I didn't feel I played badly, though, so I'm bringing confidence into the Davis Cup.

"I felt I had the opportunity to do well at Wimbledon and I didn't really capitalise."

Anderson, who lost to No 2 seed Novak Djokovic in the second round in London, said he believed his preparation for the tie in Potchefstroom had gone well.

"As a whole, I had a pretty tough draw, but I've had a pretty good season on grass this year and I've had a couple good wins," he said.

"Overall, the results weren't necessarily what I was looking for but sometimes I guess you just have to take small steps.

"I've played Djokovic three times this year now and playing a guy like him is always going to be tough. He doesn't give you anything.

"Looking at my own game, I will definitely need to make some improvements if I'm going to compete at that level."

The Netherlands had already announced they would be without Dutch No 2 Thiemo de Bakker, unavailable due to injury, but the South Africans confirmed they were at full strength for the tie.