SA name strong Davis Cup side

2011-08-24 15:39

Cape Town - Team captain John-Laffnie de Jager has been able to select the strongest available team for the upcoming Davis Cup World Group promotion/relegation Tie against Croatia to be played at the North West University Tennis Stadium from September 16th to the 18th .

World No 25 Kevin Anderson, who beat World No 4 Andy Murray convincingly at the Canadian Masters in Montreal last week, will spearhead the team and he will be backed up by Rik de Voest (ranked 126), Izak van der Merwe (131) and Raven Klaasen (256).

With Wesley Moodie, ranked 43 in doubles, having placed himself in semi-retirement, these are the four highest-ranked doubles players in the country. Van der Merwe is ranked No 99, Anderson at 125, De Voest at 145 and Klaasen at 164.

“I am very happy with the team as it is the best I was able to select,” said De Jager.

“I had to look for a new player after Wesley announced that he had decided to stop playing indefinitely. His are big shoes to fill, but, Raven is playing well and he can cover for singles and doubles. He has been part of the team for a few years so he knows how we do things.”

The opposition is powerful as they comprise four really decent singles players in Marin Cilic (ranked 26), Ivan Ljubicic (30), Ivan Dodig (36) and Ivo Karlovic (104). Dodig hit a career-high ranking this week and comes off a victory over World No 2 Rafael Nadal in Montreal last week.  

“Croatia is going to be our toughest opponents in the last six years. They have three players in the top 40 in the world and then they have the big-serving Karlovic as well,” added De Jager.

“We will focus on what we will have to do to win the tie. It is crucial for South African tennis that we get back into the World Group next year.”

Start times for the forthcoming Davis Cup World Group Play-off Tie are as follows:

Friday 16th September: 10h00 local time (08h00 GMT)
Saturday 17th September: 13h00 local time (11h00 GMT)
Sunday 18th September: 10h00 local time (08h00 GMT)