SA put Danish in a twist

2008-07-18 00:00

THE South African Davis Cup team got off to a dream start yesterday in their BNP Paribas Euro/Africa Zone Group 2 tie with Denmark at Emperors Palace, taking a two-match lead with three to play.

This means that at 2-0 up, SA captain John-Laffnie de Jager’s team need just one more win to triumph. This would qualify SA to meet victors of the Algeria/Monaco match currently taking place in Monte Carlo to earn promotion to Group 1.

SA number one Kevin Anderson began the tie and looked a little nervous, not having things all his own way against a pumped-up Martin Pedersen.

Anderson got stronger, though, and went on to win 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 6-2 while Rik de Voest swept Frederik Nielsen aside 6-3 6-2 6-2.

“I didn’t serve well at the start and if you get tight at altitude you quickly lose control, but once I got my rhythm and feel back, things went nicely,” Anderson said.

De Voest was pleased with the way he varied his game.

“I mixed things up nicely, serving flat then kicking out wide, while Fred’s strength, his serve, was off the boil and it helped me get everything back. It’s great when the SA number two beats their number one as it puts us in a good position.”

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to describe Denmark captain John Larsen’s Friday as extremely frosty.

“What can I say, trailing 2-0 is awful, the worst possible situation. Now we have to win three in a row.”

In contrast, Larsen’s counterpart, “J-L” de Jager, battled to keep the smile off his face, saying it is the first time he has been 2-0 up after the first day.

RESULTS

1-Kevin Anderson (Rsa) bt 2-Martin Pedersen (Den) 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 6-2; 2-Rik de Voest (Rsa) bt 1-Frederik Nielsen (Den) 6-3 6-2 6-2.

SA lead Davis Cup tie 2-0 with three to play.

REMAINING

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

Tomorrow 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: 1.30 pm: Doubles match.

Tomorrow: 9.30 am: Reverse singles.

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