ATP Tour

Lloyd Harris spearheads SA Davis Cup charge

Lloyd Harris (Gallo Images)
Lloyd Harris (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - South African Davis Cup captain Marcos Ondruska has named his four-man squad to contest the forthcoming World Group 1 playoff tie against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zenica on March 6 and 7.

This follows South Africa's 4-1 victory over Bulgaria at the Kelvin Grove Club in Cape Town last September to advance to the playoff round.

The South African team contains a mixture of experience and young talent, with Lloyd Harris, Raven Klaasen, Ruan Roelofse and teen sensation, Kholo Montsi, selected to represent their country.

Ondruska also confirmed that Anthony Harris, who coaches both Lloyd Harris (no relation) and Montsi, would join the team as a consultant for the week in Zenica.

Rising South African star, Lloyd Harris, will spearhead the team South Africa challenge. At 93 in the world‚ Harris is the highest-ranked singles player from both teams. His ranking has been as high as No 72 this year, after he reached his first ever ATP 250 final at the Adelaide International in January.

The country's faithful Davis Cup stalwart, Klaasen, will be playing his 19th tie for his country. Klaasen and regular Davis Cup doubles partner, Roelofse, have lost just one doubles rubber together - against Portugal in 2018.

Reigning African U18 singles and doubles champion and current ITF world number 12 junior, Montsi, completes the team. This will be the first taste of Davis Cup action for the 17-year old, who earlier in the year was included as part of the SA team participating at the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia.

For Ondruska, this is a huge tie as the winner will advance to a World Group I promotion tie in September.

"I think that South Africa has a great chance to win this tie and then play in September for the chance to be promoted," said Ondruska.

Ondruska was also excited about the balance of the team:

"It's an incredible opportunity for our younger players to learn from the 'Older Guard'. Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse bring their years of travelling on the circuit with them. Lloyd is maturing nicely and growing into the shoes that were hoped for him, from a South African tennis perspective. Now we also have an up and coming young star in Kholo, that is ranked in the top 20 in the ITF junior rankings, who can leverage and learn off the knowledge of the rest of the team. It's an invaluable experience for him.

"The team enjoys getting together for these team events, and now with the ATP Cup also being included in the calendar, a really good bond is forging between all the South African players on tour," added Ondruska.

It will be the first time the two nations clash in a Davis Cup tie.

- Tennis SA

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