South Africa’s tennis team will travel to Aarhus in Denmark this week to play against their Danish rivals as part of the Davis Cup Euro/Africa Group 2 contest, which takes place from Friday to Sunday.
Team SA is hoping to continue the impressive performance displayed against Slovenia in Irene, Gauteng, in April.
Team skipper Marcos Ondruska said he was still in the process of working out the best tactics to use against the Danes.
“I am going to approach the tie in the best way I know how,” he said.
“I will get our guys as ready as I can individually. I will study and see what the Danes are bringing to the table and put those two things together.”
The squad is the same as the one that beat Estonia and Slovenia in promotional ties earlier this year.
The players selected to travel with the team are Lloyd Harris, Nik Scholtz, Raven Klaasen, Ruan Roelofse and practice partner Tucker Vorster.
Harris, who is ranked 231 in the world, remains the second-highest South African on the world rankings after Kevin Anderson, who is unavailable for the tie.
The 17-year-old Sipho Montsi, who accompanied the squad as an official hitting partner during their clash against Slovenia, is not part of Team SA this time around.
Ondruska said that, although Montsi had a future with the team, he still had a lot to work on to reach Davis Cup level.
Denmark are seeded fourth and South Africa eighth in Group 2. The countries have met five times before, with South Africa leading 3-2.
Team SA has also won the only indoor tie between the countries. This took place in 2003 at Denmark’s Brøndby Tennis Club.
“The tie is very important for everyone,” said Ondruska.
“It has been the goal, since the first Davis Cup tie that I have been a part of, for the team to move up a group.”
Last year, South Africa lost 3-2 in their Davis Cup Euro/Africa Group 2 second-round tie at the Azuolynas Tennis Centre in Kaunas, Lithuania.
“Last year, we fell short, and this year we are looking to improve,” said Ondruska, adding that their aim was to eventually make it to the highest level at the World Group.
Team SA will be keen to qualify for the finals of the tournament they last won in 1974. The team was awarded the trophy after India refused to travel to Johannesburg for the final, in protest against the apartheid regime’s policies.
The winners of this tie will qualify for the Euro/Africa Group 1 event next year.
Denmark will rely heavily on their veteran Davis Cup campaigner, Frederik Nielsen (34). He is ranked 552 in the world.
Other Danish players selected by captain Kenneth Carlsen are Thomas Kromann, Søren Hess-Olesen and Benjamin Hannestad.
source credit: Sport24