Johannesburg – South Africa got their crucial Davis Cup Euro-Africa Group One tie against Slovenia at the Park Tivoli in Ljubljana off to the worst possible start on Friday, losing both matches on Friday.
Slovenia's second-ran ked player, Blaz Rola, beat South Africa's number one, Rik de Voest, in straight sets, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4, in the opening rubber,
De Voest, ranked 162nd in the world struggled on the slow clay against the talented Rola, ranked 208th. Rola, the current NCAA Champion held serve throughout the match.
Blaz Kavcic gave his country the important second point with a straight sets win over South African Ruan Roelofse.
Kavcic, ranked 105, made quick work of Roelofse, ranked 400 spots behind Kavcic on the world rankings, winning 6-1 6-3 6-4 in 1 hours 47 minutes.
Kavcic won the first set in 23 minutes losing only 3 points on serve.
Overall Kavcic won 87 points to 57 won by Roelofse.
De Voest said he did not feel that he had played badly,despite his loss. “I was comfortable on the clay and felt I was striking the ball well out there,” he said.
“Rola is just a real talent and played very well today. Rola started fast and I thought he might cool down but he didn't and was just a much better player on the day.”
South African Captain, John Laffnie De Jager said it had been a tough day at the office but he was proud in the effort his players had made.
The doubles rubber will be played on Saturday. South Africa have to win the doubles rubber to keep the Tie alive going into Sunday.
A win by Slovenia in the doubles on Saturday will secure the home team the Tie. – Sapa