Cape Town - South Africa’s Davis Cup captain, Earl Grainger, is hopeful that the country’s No 1 singles player, Kevin Anderson, will be available for their next assignment.
The South Africans face Ireland in a relegation playoff for the Europe/Africa Zone Group 2 Davis Cup in July.
The tie, to be played from July 17 to 19, will be staged just outside of Pretoria at the Irene Country Club.
While the Irish on Tuesday named their strongest possible team for the tie, the South African coach is hopeful he could do the same and include Anderson and doubles ace Raven Klaasen.
Anderson has not played Davis Cup in recent years after failing several times to agree terms with Tennis South Africa (TSA).
South Africa have up to 10 days before the tie to announce their team.
Grainger said he was still negotiating with players to put together the best possible team. “Between Tennis South Africa president Gavin Crookes and myself, we are in negotiations with all the South African players including our top ranked singles player, Kevin Anderson, and top ranked doubles player, Raven Klaasen, to make themselves available for the tie come July,” he said via a media release on Tuesday.
“With Ireland naming such a strong team, TSA and I need time to select our best possible team to give us every chance of winning at Irene Country Club in July and remaining in the Euro/Africa Group 2.”
Grainger said the Irish team announced would pose a big challenge to his team. “This is a very strong and competitive Irish side. They pose a major threat to South Africa and ranking wise their players over the past few years have impressed. South Africa are going to have to work very hard and use the high altitude advantage to give themselves the best chance.
“But the Irish guys are big and strong and have solid serves so even though we’re playing on altitude, it’s going to be a hard fight for team South Africa.”
Ireland’s non-playing captain Conor Niland nominated his four best players including the highest ranked Irish player on the ATP World Tour, James McGee for their away tie. McGee, 28, is currently ranked 155 in the world.
The Irish team announced include McGee, Sam Barry, James Cluskey and David O’Hare.