South African Davis Cup team captain Marcos Ondruska is upbeat ahead of the weekend’s Davis Cup World Group 1 Play-off tie against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zenica, starting on Friday.
Ondruska nominated Lloyd Harris and Ruan Roelofse for the singles with Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse for the doubles.
In the draw conducted Thursday, South African number two nominated singles player Ruan Roelofse was dawn first out the hat and will open procedures for his country against the number one nominated player from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Damir Dzumhur.
This will be followed by Lloyd Harris, South Africa’s number one nominated player against the number two nominated player of the host nation, Mirza Basic.
After four days of working out with the team, Ondruska says all the players are in a good condition and they are very pumped up for the tie.
Ondruska said preparations were on track and the last two days were key for final touch-ups.
“The team arrived safely here (in Zenica), they are all healthy which is great. We have had multiple practice sessions since our arrival and we have got better each day.
“I expect some incredible tennis and a good fight this weekend from both teams. Obviously, I hope that our side comes out on top, as we have some really good players – Lloyd Harris is playing very well and has had some good results this year. We also have stalwarts like Raven Klaasen who has been on our team for many years playing doubles in the top 10 globally. Ruan (Roelofse) is also a phenomenal player,” added Ondruska.
Ondruska concluded by saying that the hospitality from the hosts had been incredible since arrival and applauded the Bosnian authorities for that.
“This facility (Arena Zenica) is great, and the setting is spectacular.”
Bosnia and Herzegovina have fielded their strongest possible side to play South Africa and their captain Zoran Zrnic admitted it is going to be a tough tie.
The host nation does not have singles players in the World’s top 100 but they have seasoned journeymen in Damir Džumhur and Mirza Bašić who have over the last few years played all the Grand Slams – although mostly first-round exits.
The winner of this weekend’s tie will advance to a World Group I promotion tie in September.
The tie will be played on Friday and Saturday 6-7 March in an indoor facility on a hardcourt surface at Arena Zenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
ORDER OF PLAY AS PER OFFICIAL DRAW
Friday, 6 March 2020 (16h00 SA time start)
Ruan Roelofse (RSA) v Damir Dhumhur (BIH)
Lloyd Harris (RSA) v Mirza Basic (BIH)
Saturday, 7 March 2020 (14H00 SA time start)
Raven Klaasen (RSA) / Ruan Roelofse (RSA) v Mirza Basic (BIH) and Nerman Fatic (BIH)
Lloyd Harris (RSA) v Damir Dhumhur (BIH)
Ruan Roelofse (RSA) v Mirza Basic (BIH)
Day 1: 1500 hrs local (1400 GMT)
Day 2: 1300 hrs local (1200 GMT
Date: 06 Mar – 07 Mar 2020
Venue: Arena Zenica, Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina Surface: Hard – Supersoft W.S., Indoor
Ball: Dunlop Fort All Court Tournament Select