Davis Cup: Van der Merwe to eclipse De Voest

2010-04-23 00:00

THE tables are ready to be turned at the top of the SA men’s tennis tree, with the fast-improving Izak van der Merwe likely to play number one for South Africa against Finland in the BNP Paribas Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone Group One tie at Groenkloof Tennis Stadium in Pretoria from May 7 to 9.

Van der Merwe’s success last week, as a Soweto Open finalist, has seen him rocket 79 positions to a career best of 222 in the world rankings.

This, combined with a 78-position drop by Pretoria local Rik de Voest, has pushed the Kempton Park-raised Van der Merwe into the top position.

De Voest put up a fierce fight in his first-round loss to fourth seed Harel Levy of Israel in Soweto, and has won a tournament this year.

Should the world rankings stay the same by the time the tie is set to kick off, De Voest, who is more experienced than Van der Merwe, is likely to be the man who plays in what could be the series-deciding game on the Sunday afternoon — should the best-of-five-match series be locked at 2-2.

The South African team members are confident, and all coming off good form.

The Finnish team’s number two player, Henri Kontinen, is still trying to recover from an abdominal tear. As a result, Finland have held back their team announcement to April 27.

Tickets are available at Computicket: R50 for Friday, R40 Saturday and R50 Sunday.

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