De Jager names Davis Cup squad

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iol spt mar11 Rik De Voest Gallo Images Davis Cup stalwart Rik de Voest will play his last tie for South Africa in this weekend's Euro-Africa Group Two encounter against Lithuania. Photo: by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images

Johannesburg – South African Davis Cup captain John Laffnie De Jager named his best side for the upcoming tie against Lithuania.

The tie will be played at the Irene Country Club, in Pretoria, from April 4 to 6 on a medium to fast paced hard court surface.

With five of his first choice players not available, including world number 18 Kevin Anderson, the De Jager opted for Rik De Voest, Dean O'Brien, Jean Andersen, Ruan Roelofse and Raven Klaasen.

“It is a pity Nik Scholtz is not available due to college commitments, but we are fortunate that Jean Andersen is back from injury and Dean O'Brien is also back in the team,” De Jager said in a statement.

O'Brien made his Davis Cup debut against Russia last year and will be the first time playing Davis Cup at home.

Andersen, from Pretoria, has been nominated twice for Davis Cup duty and made his debut for his county against Poland away in Poland last year.

De Voest, whose wife Carolyn gave birth to a son in Vancouver, Canada last week, had been uncertain of his availability depending on the birth of the baby. He would be very much at home on the Irene Country Club courts as he began his tennis career there.

South African doubles star, Raven Klaasen who was part of the victorious team that beat Monaco 3-2 last month, will once again spearhead the doubles challenge.

Klaasen who reached the finals of this year's Australian Open doubles will be playing his tenth tie for South Africa.

Roelofse had his first Davis Cup call up in 2012 against Slovenia and has been nominated four times to play for his country.

The tie against Lithuania is a must win situation for South Africa to have any chance of regaining their spot in Group 1.

It will be the first time the two countries will meet in Davis Cup tennis.

The winner will play against the winner of the Finland v Bosnia-Herzegovina clash in September for a place in Group 1.

Lithuania have yet to name their team.

SA team (current world rankings) Raven Klaasen (30 doubles); Rik De Voest (186 singles, 386 doubles); Dean O'Brien (510 singles, 443 doubles); Jean Andersen (853 singles, 1287 doubles), Ruan Roelofse (746 singles, 268 doubles). – Sapa

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