Moodie still in doubles top 10

2010-04-01 22:43

Johannesburg - Despite a month's break from tennis because of a lingering foot injury and an early exit from the current Miami Masters tournament, big-serving Wesley Moodie has retained his rating as the ninth-best world doubles player.

But with the vital Euro-Africa Group One Davis Cup tie against Finland at the Groenkloof Stadium in Pretoria little more than a month away, the ongoing decline of Jeff Coetzee is a worrying factor.

Rated as high as 12th in the world not long ago, the amiable doubles specialist from Okiep in the Northern Cape has plummeted to a world ranking of 78th - and his long-standing, successful Davis Cup partnership with Moodie is no longer a foregone conclusion against the dangerous Finnish team.

At Moodie's insistence, he and Coetzee split as a doubles combination on the international circuit more than a year ago after the pair had at one stage been ranked as high as sixth-best doubles combination in the world.

But with Moodie making himself available again for Davis Cup selection for the World Group play-off against India at Ellis Park last year, the Moodie-Coetzee duo was back in business.

Now Coetzee's wavering form makes their retention as the doubles combination against Finland in doubt.

And more woes for South Africa's prospects is that the ever-reliable Rik De Voest, consistently a stalwart in singles and doubles Davis Cup competition over the years, is struggling to regain his form in both spheres.

The South African Davis Cup team is due to be announced next week, with high hopes the country's number one, Kevin Anderson, will make himself available.

But, in the meantime, team captain John-Laffnie de Jager has a few problems on his hands - not least of those relating to the doubles, where South Africa has consistently been able to field winning combinations over the years.