ATP Tour

Roelofse to spearhead SA's Davis Cup start

Ruan Roelofse (supplied by Tennis SA)
Ruan Roelofse (supplied by Tennis SA)

Ruan Roelofse will open the South African Davis Cup campaign against Bosnia and Herzegovina this Friday in the World Group 1 playoff tie being played at Arena Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

South African Davis Cup captain, Marcos Ondruska announced Lloyd Harris and Ruan Roelofse as his number one and number two nominated singles players at the official draw held at Arena Zenica on Thursday.

Ondruska also announced that Davis Cup stalwart Raven Klaasen will partner Roelofse for the doubles rubber to be played on Saturday.

Roelofse's name was drawn for the first singles rubber by tie referee Ashraf Hamouda of Qatar.

Roelofse will get South Africa's weekend campaign underway against seasoned journeyman Damir Dzumhur - the Bosnian number one (ranked 107 on the ATP world rankings) in the opening rubber.

The 30-year-old Roelofse said he was up to the challenge. “I feel pretty good about the draw, I don’t think it matters too much who plays first or second. I knew already who their number one player is going to be, so it was just a matter of when the match will be scheduled.

“I have seen Damir play a few times on TV and I think my game matches up pretty well against him. So, I will play more freely because all the pressure will be on him.

“We have relied a lot on Lloyd (Harris) in the past, so I am excited to open procedures for my country and I feel good and confident for tomorrow,” added Roelofse.

The second Friday singles rubber will be between South African number one Lloyd Harris (ranked no.93) and Bosnian number two Mirza Basic (ranked No 303).

Team captain Ondruska remains upbeat about his team’s chances this weekend and believes the team has prepared well and are ready for the challenge.

“The draw came out and Ruan (Roelofse) plays first. I think it’s an interesting and good way to open the tie. Ruan has been in a good form and he’s been playing lots of tournaments across America and has had some good singles exposure.

“I have also been watching him play this week and I think he’s playing very well. So, I am very excited to see what he can do against their number one. It will also give us an opportunity to see how Dhumhur plays and help us figure out some plans for the second day. Overall, I am super excited and look forward to some great tennis this weekend,” said Ondruska.

Host team captain Zoran Zrnic named Mirza Basic and Tomislav Brkic as his doubles team to play Klaasen and Roelofse.

Weekend scheduled:

Friday, 6 March 2020 (16:00 SA time start)

Ruan Roelofse (RSA) v Damir Dzumhur (BIH)

followed by

Lloyd Harris (RSA) v Mirza Basic (BIH)

Saturday, 7 March 2020 (14:00 SA time start)

Raven Klaasen (RSA) / Ruan Roelofse (RSA) v Mirza Basic (BIH) and Nerman Fatic (BIH)

followed by

Lloyd Harris (RSA) v Damir Dzumhur (BIH)

followed by

Ruan Roelofse (RSA) v Mirza Basic (BIH)

- Tennis SA

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