De Voest up for Davis Cup award

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iol spt feb2 Rik De Voest Gallo Images Rik de Voest is in line to receive the Davis Cup Commitment Award during South Africa's second round tie against Lithuania. Photo: by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images

Johannesburg - Rik de Voest is in line to receive the Davis Cup Commitment Award during South Africa's second round tie against Lithuania, from April 4 to 6 at the Irene country club, in Pretoria.

De Voest, however, still has to be named in the team playing over the weekend to be eligible for the award.

Earlier this month South African Davis Cup captain John Laffnie De Jager named De Voest as part of his squad for the tie.

Dean O'Brien, Jean Andersen, Ruan Roelofse and Raven Klaasen were the other players announced in the five-man squad.

“It's nice to get an award that recognises players who have put in the time to represent their country,” De Voest said on Wednesday.

“I've played for my country for a while and the award means a lot to me.

“My greatest highlight in the Davis Cup was the match we played against Finland in South Africa. There I was the number two player for SA and managed to beat Finland's number one in five sets. The next day I played doubles with Wesley Moodie and we won the tie.”

The award is presented by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to players who have shown long-standing dedication to representing their country in the Davis Cup.

Only three other players from South Africa have ever been eligible for this award Ä Frew McMillian 28 ties over 11 years, Wayne Ferreira 25 ties over 13 years and Cliff Drysdale with 24

ties over seven years.

De Voest made his Davis Cup debut in 2002 and has played 44

rubbers, winning 26.

The tie against Lithuania, which will be De Voest's 20th, was a must win for South Africa as they looked to regain their spot in Group One.

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

“We're aiming to win the tie, that's our main goal as a team.

“We've got our work cut out. Lithunia is a good side and I've seen a few of their players.

“But we plan to go out there and give the best we can.”

South Africa beat Monaco 3-2 in the first round Davis Cup clash at the same venue in January.


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