Anderson yet to commit to SA team
Rik De Voest will be back to face Canada in the home Davis Cup World Group playoff in September but the country’s number one player, Kevin Anderson, is still sitting on the fence according to SA captain John-Laffnie de Jager.
De Jager said on Thursday he had also learnt the powerful Canadian line-up would be at full-strength and would include burgeoning sensation Milos Raonic and world number three doubles player Daniel Nestor.
“I spoke to the Canadians while I was in Spain for last week’s Barcelona Open,” De Jager said.
“They are not only desperately keen to cement a place in next year’s World Group, but are also looking forward eagerly to making a first visit to South Africa.
“And that is what makes it particularly important to have Kevin in our squad.
“It is something I will continue to pursue when we meet again in Paris during the French Open later this month.”
De Jager said the personal problems that kept SA number two De Voest out of the 4-1 win against Slovenia in Soweto in April were no longer applicable.
“Izak van der Merwe and Raven Klaasen, who performed brilliantly against the Slovenians, have already told me how keen they are to play against the Canadians,” he said.
De Jager added that no definite decision had been taken over the venue for the crucial tie.
“We obviously have to take into account the Raonic factor,” De Jager said.
“He is playing so well at the moment that I would not be surprised if he was rated among the top 10 players in the world by the time the World Group playoff takes place.”
Traditionally, De Jager said, South Africa favoured playing home Davis Cup matches at high altitude because Anderson, De Voest, Van der Merwe and Klaasen all thrived in these conditions.
“But Raonic’s serve is so devastating,” he added, “he is sure to be a handful at high altitude.”