DAVIS CUP RETURNS TO TSHWANE

• Irene Country Club to host the KIA South Africa vs Slovenia Davis Cup tie

Pretoria, South Africa – The Irene Country Club in the picturesque Irene area of Pretoria has once again been announced as the Davis Cup venue for next month’s tie versus Slovenia. The Euro/Africa Group 2 round two tie will be played from 7 – 9 April.

Irene Country Club in Pretoria was announced once again to host the Davis Cup. The forthcoming Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group 2 tie South Africa vs Slovenia will be played from Friday, 7 April – Sunday, 9 April 2017

Photo credit: Reg Caldecott


This is the sixth tie that will be hosted by Irene Country Club. The club is establishing itself as a favourite hunting ground for the KIA South African Davis Cup team and captain Marcos Ondruska is delighted his team will return to Irene to do battle against Slovenia.

“This is a very important tie for us. If we win, we have a chance to play in the promotion round in September against the winner or the Norway vs Denmark tie, and that will give us a chance of moving up in the Euro/Africa Group 1 next year. I firmly believe we have a good chance in doing so but we first have to focus on the Slovenian tie and take things one step at a time.”

Ondruska continued saying Irene Country Club was ideal for his team. “We enjoy playing at Irene. The court plays well, the stadium is intimate, we get good home crowd support and the hospitality is top class. All this contributes largely to the team’s success and the record shows, out of five ties played at Irene we have won four.”

South Africa and Slovenia have played each other twice and share the spoils. In April of 2012, South Africa hosted Slovenia at the Arthurs Ashe Tennis Complex in Soweto and comfortably beat the visitors 4-1. But Slovenia got revenge in September of 2013 when they hosted South Africa and on their favoured clay courts they beat South Africa also 4-1.

Ondruska warned that Slovenia were a team to watch. “Even though the Slovenia’s prefer playing on clay, they are seeded two in the group and have two players ranked in the world’s top 200 which makes them very tricky. We cannot underestimate Slovenia and like us they also want a shot at being promoted to Group 1 so I am expecting them to send their strongest possible team. I urge the fans to secure their tickets early as we were sold out in the tie against Estonia and the tennis on offer was world class.”

Ticket sales for the three day tie open on Wednesday 29 February at www.ticketweb.co.za - Tickets are R150 per session.


GOOD WEEK FOR SOUTH AFRICAN TENNIS PLAYERS

Johannesburg, South Africa – South African tennis players enjoyed a good week on the ATP World Tour, ATP Challenger and ITF Futures circuit last week.

Raven&Rajeev.jpg: 2017 ATP Delray Beach Open doubles champions, Raven Klaasen of South Africa (left), and partner Rajeev Ram of the United States with their winning trophies after beating third seeds Treat Huey of Philippines and Max Mirnyi of Belarus 7-5 7-5 in the final

Photo credit: ATP World Tour

Cape Town based doubles ace, Raven Klaasen teamed up with his American partner, Rajeev Ram to win the ATP Delray Beach Open in Delray Beach, USA on Sunday. Second seeds Klaasen and Ram beat third seeds Treat Huey of Philippines and Max Mirnyi of Belarus 7-5 7-5 to win their fourth ATP World Tour doubles title as a team and first of 2017.

I think Rajeev and I have done some good things to improve our games and this week was another progression for us as a team. The crowd has been great all week. People really enjoy their doubles here and that makes it us fun for us” said Klaasen following victory.

Lloyd Harris impressed in Japan when he reached the semi-finals of the Shimadzu All Japan Indoor Tennis Championships played in Kyoto. Nineteen year old Harris, South Africa’s second highest ranked singles player after Kevin Anderson, lost to sixth seed Blaz Kavcic in the last four 4-6 7-6 (6) 6-7 (5). Harris had to qualify for the tournament and then upset top seed Yuichi Sugita of Japan in straight sets, en route to the final.

Davis Cup player, Nik Scholtz reached the semi-finals of the Egypt Futures in Sharm El Sheikh, whilst his Davis Cup team mate Dean O’Brien together with American Kevin King reached the doubles final of the ATP Challenger in Morelos, Mexico.


CHRISTIAAN WORST WIN TENNIS DOUBLE IN POTCHEFSTROOM

Potchefstroom, South Africa – South African junior tennis ace, Christiaan Worst won his second international singles title in as many weeks on Saturday in Potchefstroom.

ITF NWU-PUKKE 2 boys singles champion, Christiaan Worst of Pretoria, South Africa with his winning trophy. Worst, seeded 12 won the boys singles title at the at the Riaan Venter Tennis Academy on the North West University Potchefstroom campus on Saturday beating fellow countryman Rikhardt Bierman 3-6 7-5 6-2 in the final.

Photo credit: BLD Communications


The Pretoria based Worst, seeded twelve and a member of Afrikaans Hoer Seunskool, won the ITF NWU-PUKKE 2 at the Riaan Venter Tennis Academy beating compatriot Rikhardt Bierman, seeded eleven, 3-6 7-5 6-2 in the rain interrupted final. After dropping the opening set, Worst found his groove in the second set and finally made the all-important break of serve in the eleventh game and held serve to win the set and even the match. Worst continued playing confidently in the final set, and broke an “out of sorts” Bierman again in the fifth game of that set and held to win the set, match and title.

Last week, Worst captured his first international title at the same venue and was overjoyed with having repeated the feat this week. “I am really proud of my achievements. I never expected this although I always play to win and now to have won two titles in a row is very, very special” said Worst.

Worst said that he had put a lot of work into his game this year and it was paying off. His Uncle, former South African Davis Cup player, Danie Visser agreed. “We started the year on a mission to get Christiaan to improve his work ethic and mind set and set realistic aims and objective. I am very happy that Christiaan has made the most of the opportunities thrown at him and is reaping the rewards of the hard work put in” said Visser.

The girls singles was dominated by the foreign players with Israel’s Shavit Kimchi, seeded 6, needing less than an hour to beat unseeded Margriet Timmermans of Netherlands 6-3 6-4 in the final.

Timmermans however did not leave Potchefstroom empty handed. The Dutch junior teamed up with her fellow country woman Perla Nieuwboer to win the doubles title. The fourth seeds beat third seeded South African’s, Megan Basson and Myah Petchey 6-1 1-6 10-6 in a battle royal.

Christiaan Worst won a full house of titles when he teamed up with country man, Justin Liebenberg to take the doubles title. Third seeds, Worst and Liebenberg beat 5th seeded Liam Coertzen and Joubert Klopper, also of South Africa 7-5 7-5 in the final

The South African swing of the ITF international junior circuit now moves to Pretoria for new week’s Axnosis ITF to be played at the Brooklyn Union Club.


GUGU NTULI & GEOFF WHYTE APPOINTED TO BOARD OF TENNIS SOUTH AFRICA

Pretoria, South Africa – Tennis South Africa (TSA) announced on Wednesday that accomplished businesswoman, Gugu Ntuli and marketing guru Geoff Whyte have been appointed to the Board of TSA.

Ntuli holds a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from Coventry Business School (UK), a BSc App. Sci (Sport Science) & a B. Bus (International Business) degrees from QUT (Australia), and a Diploma in French from Sorbonne University (Paris). After four years in Media and Communication with the SABC, ABSA and Private Wealth Management, Ntuli joined the NHS Institute at Warwick University (UK) as a researcher. She later moved to Leicestershire and Rutland Sport where she headed up their Performance division. In 2008, she moved back to South Africa to take up a role as Deputy Director of Sport at Stellenbosch University. Nine months later she was appointed the CEO of SUSPI, where she helped transform the organisation during her 4 year tenure. She subsequently moved to Adidas Emerging Markets South where she oversaw PR communications and Newsroom. She later was charged with overseeing marketing and communications portfolios for Adidas Emerging Market South across Africa, in particular Nigeria and Ghana.

Ntuli currently serves as a Director of CASIDRA, where she is also the chairperson of the Social and Ethics committee. She has previously occupied Director roles with the African Sport Management Association (ASMA) in Kenya, Transformation Committee of Cricket South Africa, Transformation Committee of SASCOC, Coaching Framework of SASCOC and Advisory Board member for the International Multicultural Society for Sport & Entertainment – California USA. She is also a Director for East Africa mines in Uganda.
Ntuli has a strong marketing and Communications background with experience in strategic management, market development, brand marketing, digital marketing, international partnership and networks development, brand optimisation, and people management.

Ntuli’s many notable achievements include leading the launch of adidas and Reebok brands into Nigeria and Ghana, leading a start-up company’s brand internationally thus growing its top and bottom line by an average of 35% year on year, successfully managing the Absa internet crisis in the media, becoming a recipient of the Nelson Mandela Scholarship, and being appointed consultant for the Centre for Olympic studies (Loughborough, UK) to develop a marketing strategy for satellite centres.

Ntuli’s life philosophy is that focusing one’s life solely on making money shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of oneself. It is only when you connect your efforts to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.

Geoff Whyte, the CEO of Nando’s is a proven business leader with experience in the top echelons of leading global organisations including Unilever, Pepsico, Cadbury Schweppes and SAB-Miller.
He has an outstanding record of success in a wide variety of geographies including Europe, the UK, Africa, the Middle East and the United States. He is recognised as a leading thinker in South African
business and has spoken at a number of high profile conferences on a variety of topics.

Whyte has also written articles for major publications including leading national newspapers. His many contributions to South African marketing were recognised in April 2009 when the Sunday Times
made him their Marketing Person of the year.

Richard Glover, CEO of TSA commented, “Geoff and Gugu’s involvement with TSA is a strong endorsement for the Federation. Both bring impressive track records in marketing and PR, respectively,
and will significantly enhance our plans to step-change the sport in South Africa.”


• Team South Africa upbeat ahead of Davis Cup tie

Pretoria, South Africa – South African Davis Cup captain, Marcos Ondruska confirmed that former South African world top ten player, Wayne Ferreira would consult to his Davis Cup team.

Ondruska confirmed this at the pre-draw media conference held on Tuesday at the Irene Country Club in Pretoria.

South Africa will play Estonia in the Euro Africa Group II tie this coming weekend at Irene Country Club.

“I am delighted to confirm that Wayne has agreed to act as a consultant to me and the team in Davis Cup and we look forward to him helping us with our aims and objectives to get the country back into the World Group” said Ondruska.

Ferreira said that he was delighted to be able to help his ‘best friend’ Ondruska out and said that Tennis South Africa (TSA) were wise in appointing Ondruska as Davis Cup captain. “Marcos has a wealth of experience under his belt not only as a player but more so as a Davis Cup player. We are best of friends and for a long time Marcos has been speaking to be about giving something meaningful back to the game in his home country and I wanted to help him out in his role as Davis Cup captain, so I agreed to take on the consultant role.”

“We collectively have a plan for Davis Cup in South Africa and know exactly where we want to be in a few years’ time. I hope to play a role in the success of those objectives, have seen the talent we have on offer that can boost the Davis Cup team efforts and combined with the experience of the older players, lots can be achieved” added former world number 6 Ferreira.

Ondruska said that that the mood in his squad was good since jetting into the country on Sunday. “We are delighted to be back as a team at Irene Country Club, a fantastic venue that has been very kind to us and offered us incredible service and hospitality.”

The South African captain also complimented TSA on securing sponsorship deals with KIA Motors South Africa and computer software company Axnosis for the tie.

Raven Klaasen said he was happy to be back playing in the country wearing the green and gold. “Davis Cup is really special to me and an important part of my schedule. When you wear the green and gold and go onto court is very different as you not only playing for yourself, but your team and country.”

Klaasen, the country’s top ranked doubles player(13) is expected to spearhead the South African doubles challenge on Saturday with Ruan Roelofse.

Lloyd Harris said he was in good shape after a long end season break and good preparation following the break. “I had a long hard 2016 where I played a lot of matches and had great success. I had a good break and then good preparation for the new season and feel I am in the best shape I have ever been and ready to give it my all this weekend.” Harris is the highest ranked South African singles player(284) in the team and should be named by Ondruska as the countries number one singles nomination at the official draw on Thursday.

Ondruska has not decided on who he will play in the number two singles spot with hometown boy Tucker Vorster and Nik Scholtz contenders. “It’s still too early for me to make a call on my final line up. We have a few more days of practise which will allow me the chance to see the form of the players and make my final decision” said Ondruska.

Estonia, who arrived in the country on Sunday – have had little time to feel the court and altitude due to the rain over Gauteng on Monday.

Jürgen Zopp, Estonia’s top ranked player(317) said that the rain had affected their preparation but they would double up on practise Tuesday and Wednesday to be best prepared come tie day Friday. “We all have never been to South Africa and are not accustomed to altitude so we going to need to work hard to be prepared” said Zopp.

Estonian captain, Ekke Tiidemann said “Our team is a mixture of experience and youth and I feel we have a good synergy in the team. I feel very happy that we have the best possible team and I’m thankful for the players making themselves available for the tie to represent their country. I think the tie will be very interesting, team South Africa has also a good team, Lloyd has had some great results at the Futures level and Raven Klaasen with his level in doubles makes South Africa a very complete team.”

Squads:

Team South Africa

Lloyd Harris (singles:284 doubles:793)
Tucker Voster (singles:644 doubles:272)
Nik Scholtz (singles:522 doubles:314)
Raven Klaasen(doubles:13)
Ruan Roelofse(singles:1653 doubles:177)

Captain: Marcos Ondruska

Team Estonia

Jürgen Zopp (singles:317 doubles: 412)
Vladimir Ivanov (singles:442 doubles:485)
Kenneth Raisma (singles:706 doubles:1061)
Mattias Siimar (singles:1511 doubles:0)

Captain: Ekke Tiideman


SPAR PROTEAS READY FOR THE SILVER FERNS

Johannesburg, South Africa -The SPAR Proteas conclude their inaugural SANZEA netball Quad Series programme on Sunday, when they take on the world number two team, the New Zealand Silver Ferns, at the SSE Arena at Wembley in London.
The SPAR Proteas will be buoyed by their performance in the South African leg of the series, when they came close to beating the England Roses and lost to Australia by just 16 goals – the smallest margin ever.
The South Africans flew to the United Kingdom on Wednesday, after the biggest netball event ever staged in South Africa, where netball fans were treated to a netball bonanza, with a match between the two best teams in the world, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the matches between South Africa and England and South Africa and Australia.
Head coach Norma Plummer said after the match between the SPAR Proteas and the Australian Diamonds, which the Diamonds won 62-46, that she was ‘quietly pleased’ with the SPAR Proteas’ progress.
“We are in there,” she said. “We’re definitely making progress, although there’s a long way to go.
“The top three teams are fully professional, which makes it easier for them to train together.
“We’re a long way from becoming professional. It took Australia a long, long time before their players were paid. So we have a fair way to go.”
Goalshooter Siggie Burger, who was originally in the squad for the United Kingdom leg of the Series, had to stay at home after injuring her knee, but Lindie Lombard, who was very influential in the SPAR Proteas’ match against England last Saturday, obtained an emergency visa at the last minute and travelled to London with the rest of the squad.
South Africa’s defenders will have their work cut out against the Silver Ferns’ attack, particularly vice captain Maria Tutaia, whose serenity on court belies her determination to win.
South Africa beat New Zealand to reach the final of the netball world cup in Birmingham in 1995, but have not managed to get the upper hand over the Silver Ferns since then. However, the SPAR Proteas are not thinking about history, but looking ahead.


SOLID START BY SOUTH AFRICA IN DAVIS CUP

• South Africa lead Estonia 2-0 after day one of Davis Cup

Pretoria, South Africa – The KIA South African Davis Cup team made a solid start against Estonia on day one of their Davis Cup tie vs Estonia at the Irene Country Club in Pretoria on Friday.

Nik Scholtz of South Africa in action against Jurgen Zopp of Estonia during the opening singles of the Davis Cup tie between South Africa and Estonia at the Irene Country Club on February 03, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.

Lloyd Harris of South Africa in action against Vladimir Ivanov during the opening singles of the Davis Cup tie between South Africa and Estonia at the Irene Country Club on February 03, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.

South Africa team captain Marcos Ondruska congratulates Nik Scholtz on winning the 3rd set during the opening singles of the Davis Cup tie between South Africa and Estonia at the Irene Country Club on February 03, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa.

South Africa won both singles rubbers giving them a 2-0 lead against the visitors.

Nik Scholtz, the South African number two opened procedures and was leading Jürgen Zopp, the top seeded Estonian player 4-6 6-4 6-3 when Zopp fell to the court with an abdominal injury and was forced to retire from the rubber after 2 hours 11 minutes of play.
Scholtz started slowly and after losing the first set, regrouped and found his rhythm late in the second set, using his big serve and powerful ground strokes to break Zopp in the tenth game and win the set and level matters.

In the third set, Scholtz saved break points in the opening two games and in the fifth game was 0-40 down on serve but aced his way out of trouble, found the break in the eighth game and held on to win the third set 6-3.

“It’s not nice to be injured during a match and I feel for Jürgen” said Scholtz. “But I really turned things around and although we didn’t finish the match I felt I was in control and won that match and I’ll take the win regardless. Yip it is a bit of an anti-climax not having won a full match but I’ll take the win and felt good being declared the victor” continued Scholtz.

Zopp said he was bitterly disappointed for him and his team having to retire during the match. “After the first set I felt I was in control but unfortunately the serve is such an important part of the game especially up here at altitude and I really could not do anything with the pain. Injuries are part of sport and unfortunately they seem to always come at the wrong time. I feel disappointed not only for me but also for my team as I knew how important this point was for us to win.”

In the second singles rubber, South Africa’s number one Lloyd Harris impressively beat Estonian Vladimir Ivanov 6-4 6-3 6-2 in 1 hour 56 minutes..

Harris was fast out the starting blocks but Ivanov held on strong. Harris eventually found his first break of serve in the tenth game to win the opening set 6-4. From that point Harris dominated throughout losing only five games in the last two sets.

“I was really happy out there today, I played solid and made a good start which always helps. I’m pleased I have been able to take South Africa to a 2-0 lead after day one” said Harris.

Marcos Ondruska the South Africa team captain said he was extremely satisfied after day one. “I could not have wished for a better start. My boys played well and I know my doubles team will go to bed tonight and sleep better with us being 2-0 up. But credit to our Estonian opponents who despite the challenges facing them have conducted themselves very well. They have some talented youngsters in their team and two are left handers which makes it tricky but my boys are well prepared and we hope that on Saturday we can seal a win.”


Game, set and stream with Vodacom live!

The upcoming Davis Cup tie between South Africa and Estonia will be game, set and match for tennis fans after Vodacom secured the rights to live stream the action from the Irene Country Club 3-5 February.

With only a few available court-side seats still available, Vodacom live! will be the only place for supporters to watch South Africa battle it out in their Euro/Africa Group 2 tie.

A new energy is sweeping through South African tennis, and thanks to Vodacom Live! the country’s impending rise will be documented to fans throughout the country.

Under the guidance of former South African tennis professional Marcos Ondruska and with the help of South African tennis legend Wayne Ferreira, the Davis Cup team has its sights set firmly on returning to the prestigious World Group.

Considered to be the World Cup of Tennis, the Davis Cup is contested between the world’s best men’s national teams dating back to 1900.

South Africa won the Davis Cup title in 1974 and competed in the World Group between 1995 and 1998 which included Ferreira and Ondruska.

Rising star Lloyd Harris is expected to spearhead South Africa’s charge in the singles while the country’s top doubles player Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse are set to take care of business on the Saturday.

Davis Cup ties include two singles rubbers on the first day (Friday, 10h00 start), a doubles rubber on the second day (Saturday, 12h00 start) and finally two singles rubbers on the third day (Sunday, 10h00 start). The first team to claim three rubbers is declared the winner of the tie.

Vodacom will ensure supporters don’t miss a single piece of the action from the first serve to the very last match.

Vodacom are delighted to be able to bring South African fans the action from the tennis court live to wherever they are,” said Ashraff Paruk, Vodacom’s Managing Executive for Digital Services.
“South African tennis has a clear vision for the sport and we are excited to play a part to bring the game to its supporters.”

SA Davis Cup star, Raven Klaasen, said that the live streaming partnership was a major boost for tennis in the country. “It’s so important that, in order to develop the game in South Africa, we reach tennis fans across all communities. The team and I are delighted that our on court magic can be shared to a larger audience”.
“This is a new era for TSA and we are looking to re-position the Federation as one that is innovative, nimble and dynamic. The way South Africans are consuming video content is changing and sports organisations in this country need to engage with potential new audiences in a proactive manner. This is a giant leap into the future for tennis in South Africa,” concluded Richard Glover, CEO of TSA.

Vodacom live! is free to browse from your Vodacom cell phone and includes other awesome features such as music downloads, news and chat services, and a hub to download the latest games.

How to get Vodacom live!

You will need a data-enabled smartphone to watch.

Visit live.vodacom.co.za and click on the Davis Cup links as advertised on the page or in the menu, and register for the stream.

Or, simply click on the link below and register.
http://live.vodacom.co.za/vlive/portal_page_daviscup

One lucky registered user could also win a Samsung S7 smartphone, kindly sponsored by Samsung.

Other network subscribers will be able to register and enjoy the live streaming facility.


NIK SCHOLTZ TO LEAD SOUTH AFRICA OUT FIRST IN DAVIS CUP

SA captain, Marcos Ondruska upbeat about his team’s chances vs Estonia
• Estonia quietly confident ahead of Davis Cup weekend

Irene, Pretoria, South Africa – South African Davis Cup captain, Marcos Ondruska announced 19 year old Lloyd Harris and Nik Scholtz as his number one and number two nominated singles players at the official draw for this weekend’s clash.

South Africa’s Raven Klaasen full of smiles at the official draw of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Euro/Africa Group 2 tie, South Africa vs Estonia, held at the Irene Dairy Farm on Thursday. With Klaasen are team mates from left Lloyd Harris, Nik Scholtz, Ruan Roelofse and team captain Marcos Ondruska. The tie will be played from 3-5 February at the Irene Country Club, Pretoria.

The number one nominated players, from left – Lloyd Harris (South Africa) and Jurgen Zopp (Estonia) at the official draw of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Euro/Africa Group 2 tie, South Africa vs Estonia, held at the Irene Dairy Farm on Thursday. The tie will be played from 3-5 February at the Irene Country Club, Pretoria.

Pictures by: Reg Caldecott


Euro Africa Group 2 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas tie between South Africa and Estonia. The tie will be played at the Irene Country Club, Pretoria from 3-5 February 2017.
South Africa’s top 15 ranked world doubles player, Raven Klaasen, will spearhead the South African doubles challenge and Ondruska nominated, Ruan Roelofse, as his partner for the doubles rubber on Saturday.
World number 517 Nik Scholtz, will get South Africa’s weekend campaign under way against Estonia tomorrow (Friday, 03 February 2017) at 10h00 South African time following the opening ceremony at 09h45. Scholtz name was drawn from the hat first by Irene Country Club President, Henry Van Der Byl and will open against Estonian number one, Jurgen Zopp ranked 317. This will be the first time that the two have met.
This will be followed by the second singles rubber between Lloyd Harris, South Africa’s number one nominated player and Estonian number two Vladimir Ivanov, ranked 288 and 442, respectively. The two will also be meeting for the first time.
On Saturday at 12 noon, SA time, Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse will team up and play against Kenneth Raisma and Mattias Siimar.
On Sunday the reverse singles will be played from 10h00 with the number one players battling it out first, then followed by the number two players.
The draw for the first round Group 2 Europe/Africa tie was conducted at the Irene Dairy Farm today (Thursday, 02 February 2017).
South African captain Marcos Ondruska and his team remain upbeat yet cautious about their chances this weekend. “We have the best possible side experience wise for this tie. I am very happy with how we have been preparing. And Wayne Ferreira, my consultant coach, and I are happy with the way the players are striking the ball and adapting to the conditions”
Ondruska said that he believed the team assembled for this weekend is the best for the job. “My boys are passionate about playing for their country and will do us all proud following a very happy mood in the camp. We are at the building stage and working our way to a spot in the World Group.”
The most senior South African player in the team Raven Klaasen said he was happy that Roelofse had been named as his partner for Saturday as the two have played successfully together before.
“I see this as an opportunity to nail down the tie in the doubles rubber on Saturday,” said Klaasen. “Ruan and I have a good record together and hopefully by the time we play the doubles South Africa will be leading so that we can sew up the result before the start of Sunday’s reverse singles.”
This is the fourth time the two will have partnered each other in Davis Cup competition.

Scholtz admitted he wasn’t an “early bird” but seeing his name had come out the hat first he would have to adjust and be prepared. “I will just have to wake up that little earlier and get to the courts early to prepare for my rubber. I have all my family coming to watch so it’s very exciting.”

Estonian’s top player Jurgen Zopp said his team were improving with the change in altitude day by day. “We are hitting the ball much better day by day. When we arrived the altitude was a challenge but we feeling better about that and the court; and today we will complete our preparations and be as ready as ever for South Africa.”
Zopp said that although he was not nominated for the doubles he would be ready to play on all three days. “I have played many ties for Estonia and have played singles and doubles so I am ready for whatever my captain decides.”

This is the first time that the two nations have met in Davis Cup competition.

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