South African Davis Cup team captain Marcos Ondruska has named his four-man squad to contest the forthcoming Davis Cup World Group 1 Play-off tie against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zenica on 6 and 7 March 2020.
The game follows South Africa’s 4-1 victory over Bulgaria at the Kelvin Grove Club in Cape Town in September 2019 to advance to the play-off 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 Kholo 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 in the tie. His ranking has been as high as 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, Raven Klassen, will be playing his 19th tie for his country. Klaasen and regular Davis Cup doubles partner, Ruan 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, Kholo Montsi, completes the team. This will be the first taste of Davis Cup action for the 17-year old Montsi, who earlier in the year was included as part of the SA team participating at the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia.
For Team Captain Marcos Ondruska, this is a huge tie as the winner will advance to a World Group I promotion tie in September.
“This is a huge opportunity. I think that South Africa has a great chance to win this tie and then play in September for the chance to be promoted, It’s an incredible opportunity for our younger players to learn from the “Older Guard”.
Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse bring their years of traveling 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 of 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 band 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.
By: Bradley Brizzy