SA in pole position for Davis Cup

2008-07-17 00:00

With Wednesday’s draw going exactly according to plan, South Africa move into their BNP Paribas Euro/Africa Zone Group 2 Davis Cup tie against Denmark today in confident mood.

SA number one Kevin Anderson is not the sort who likes waiting around to play.

“I prefer to know when I am starting a match rather than sitting around in the locker room waiting for another match to finish, especially if it’s best-of-five sets like Davis Cup,” said Anderson.

And the draw sees the lanky Anderson starting at 10 am today in his match — the Davis Cup opener — against Denmark number two Martin Pedersen.

In contrast to Anderson, SA number two Rik de Voest is far more easygoing about starting times.

“I tend to take it as it comes,” De Voest said in the media centre at Emperors Palace yesterday, “so I am not particularly concerned when my match begins.”

De Voest plays Danish number one Frederik Nielsen today, after Anderson’s opener.

What will give SA Davis Cup captain John-Laffnie de Jager cause for quiet celebration this evening is the prospect of his team going 2-0 up at the end of the day’s play.

That would leave SA needing to win just one of the remaining three matches (tomorrow’s doubles and Sunday’s reverse singles) to clinch this second-round tie.

And should SA win, they would travel away from September 19 to 21 to meet the winners of the Algeria/Monaco tie, which is taking place at the same time as the Emperors Palace showdown, but in Monte Carlo.

The winners of that third-round tie get promoted to Euro/Africa Zone Group One, and so the dream of reaching the fabled World Group alongside the likes of men’s tennis heavyweights Russia, the U.S. and Spain gathers momentum.

But first things first, and the purpose-built hardcourt surface at Emperors Palace, with the 1 400-seater venue sold out a while ago, should hopefully be witness to some dramatic, quality tennis. The atmosphere is likely to be far more suitable than the cavernous venues of the past where 300 spectators would be rendered virtually inconsequential among hundreds of empty seats.

Schedule

Today 10 am: 1 Kevin Anderson (Rsa) vs 2 Martin Pedersen (Den).

Followed by: 2 Rik de Voest (Rsa) vs 1 Frederik Nielsen (Den).

Tomorrow 1.30 pm: Jeff Coetzee and Izak van der Merwe (Rsa) vs Neilsen and Rasmus Norby (Den).

Sunday 10 am: 1 Anderson (Rsa) vs 1 Nielsen (Den).

Followed by: 2 De Voest (Rsa) vs 2 Pedersen (Den).

TV - Live on SuperSport 4:

Today 9.30 am: 1-2 Singles matches.

Tomorrow 1.30 pm: Doubles match.

Sunday 9.30 am: Reverse singles.

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