Pretoria –Marcos Ondruska, South Africa’s newly appointed Davis Cup captain, announcedfrom Atlanta on Wednesday his squad to take on Luxembourg in theirEuro/Africa Zone Group 2 Davis Cup to be played from 4
The squad announcedcomprises of Tucker Vorster, Lloyd Harris, Ruan Roelofse, Dean O’Brien andKeith-Patrick Crowley.
Ondruska has confirmed thatKevin Anderson, Raven Klaasen and Nik Scholtz are not available for theupcoming tie. “I have been in touch with Kevin, Raven and Nik and confirmedthat Kevin remains unavailable at this stage and that Raven due to schedulingcan’t make this tie. Nik has not been playing competitively for the past fewweeks and felt he was not ready to play Davis Cup” said Ondruska.
Ondruska alsoconfirmed Fritz Wolmarans had retired from competitive tennis so could not beconsidered. The South African captain will be forced to trim the squaddown to four players by the start of the tie.
Despite South Africa’s topsingles and doubles player Anderson and Klaasen not being available for thetie, Ondruska said he was pleased that he had announced a solid squad.
Lloyd Harris, aged 18, is inhis first year as a senior player and is one of the most exciting prospects toemerge in South African tennis in recent years. The Capetonian will be playingin his first tie should he make Ondruska’s final four players. Harris hashowever been part of previous Davis Cup squads as part of the Tennis SouthAfrica (TSA) programme in grooming up and coming players for Davis Cup duty.
Harris is expected to beconsidered for the singles alongside Tucker Vorster whose inclusion shoulddelight the home crowds as Vorster is a native of the Capital.
South Africa’s secondhighest ranked doubles player Dean O’Brien of Sandton made a decision a yearago to focus on doubles and the decision has paid off with O’Brien climbing therankings impressively with him on the verge of breaking into the world’s top100.
O’Brien should partner Ruan Roelofse who like Harris comes from Cape Town.Roelofse although has a singles ranking is also concentrating on the doubles ontour. O’Brien and Roelofse have played together on a regular basis with greatsuccess.
Keith-Patrick Crowley also of Cape Town has been part of the Davis Cupsquad before but has yet to play for South Africa. Crowley who was in SouthAfrica last year for the Digicall Futures Series has made impressive moves upthe world rankings in recent months especially on the doubles rankings.
Ondruska warned thatLuxembourg would be a strong challenge for South Africa especially with thevisitors expected to name left handed seasoned pro Gilles Muller ranked 40 astheir number one player. “Davis Cup is never easy. It’s a real fight for bothteams to come out tops and anything is possible in Davis Cup” said Ondruska.“However we have home advantage and high altitude advantage which hopefullywill work in our favour” admitted Ondruska.
“I have heard that IreneCountry Club is a great venue and we hope to get lots of support from the localtennis supporters" added Ondruska.
Ondruska said he was lookingforward to captaining South Africa for the first time. “I have played a lot ofDavis Cup and have played under a bunch of different captains. Now it’s my turnto lead the team and make the decisions and choices and I am really lookingforward to it. I see it as a great honour and really can’t wait!”
Luxembourg will only benaming their side ten days before the tie as per the Davis Cup rules.
South African squad andtheir current ranking positions:
Tucker Vorster (singles; 295 doubles; 376),Lloyd Harris ( singles; 360 doubles; 594 ),Ruan Roelofse (singles; 726 doubles; 131), Dean O’Brien (doubles; 122) andKeith-Patrick Crowley (singles; 723 doubles; 303).