ATP Tour

SA Davis Cup upbeat after their arrival in Portgual

Raven Klaasen (BLD Communications)
Raven Klaasen (BLD Communications)

Lisbon - The South African Davis Cup team are upbeat after their practice session on Monday on the red clay in Lisbon ahead of this weekend's crucial Euro/Africa Group 1 play-off tie in the Portuguese capital.

First to arrive in Lisbon were Nik Scholtz and team physiotherapist Karen Fry who jetted in from Cape Town late Saturday.

They were joined on Saturday by doubles ace Raven Klaasen who flew in from Shanghai where he reached the quarter-finals of the doubles at the ATP Masters with New Zealand partner, Michael Venus.

On Sunday captain Marcos Ondruska jetted in from Seattle, meanwhile Lloyd Harris and Ruan Roelofse joined the team late Monday morning from California.

The last team member to arrive will be debutant junior Philip Henning who jets in from Buenos Aires, where he was competing in the Youth Olympics.

On Saturday, Cyclone Lesley hit Portugal but luckily very little damage was done to the Davis Cup venue, Club Internacional De Foot-Ball in the heart of Lisbon.

"We were fortunate that our club wasn't badly effected from the cyclone other than some signage around the match court that was blown away," confirmed Tournament Director, Jose Costa.

Due to the rain on Monday morning, the after effects of Cyclone Lesley, Klaasen and Scholtz practiced indoors on red clay at the club.

Ondruska said that his charges had enjoyed a good two hour session with practice partner Tucker Vorster.

"We are fortunate to have the indoor facility, so despite the weather we can get to hit on the clay," said Ondruska.

"It's important to get as much playing time as possible on the clay as the boys have been competing on hard court in recent weeks. Both Nik and Raven felt good after the session and are slowly but surely finding their groove on the clay."

Scholtz said that he was benefiting from arriving early in Lisbon.

"After two 9 hour flights my body is starting to feel better and I am getting used to the clay considering it's a surface I don't often play on. As a team we will do everything to be ready for the tie come Friday."

South Africa take on Portugal Friday and Saturday, October 19-20.

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