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South Africa take 3-0 lead against Slovenia in Davis Cup tie

Tennis

JOHANNESBURG - In front of an enthusiastic sold-out home crowd, KIA South African doubles specialist Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse overcame Slovenia’s Grega Zemlja and Tomislav Ternar in straight sets 7-6 (6) 6-2 6-4 to clinch an overall victory for team KIA South Africa in the Davis Cup on Saturday at the Irene Country Club.

South Africa now lead the tie 3-0 heading into Sunday’s reverse singles and earn a chance to play for promotion in September for a possible place in Euro/Africa Group 1 next year.

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Ruan Roelofse and Raven Klaasen Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

The South African duo knew although they were clear favourites, the task would be difficult especially at altitude. Also, the Slovenian Captain, Blaz Tropej made a change at the eleventh hour to his doubles team replacing Tilen Zitnik with Zemlja.

“As a team, we knew we had it all to do today. The doubles may only be one point out of five in a tie but today Ruan and I knew we could either clinch a victory for South Africa or put pressure on the singles players for Sunday’s reverse singles” said Klaasen.

Klaasen said that it was a pleasure to go into the doubles rubber knowing his team were up 2-0. “Both Lloyd Harris and Nik Scholtz played their part on Friday with two excellent wins. So it was time for Ruan and me to deliver the favour back,” continued Klaasen.

Roelofse, who now stands at 7 wins and no losses in Davis Cup ties was extremely proud of the team’s effort this weekend. “Even though Raven and I won the tie today we know that it took team effort to get this result, and we are just extremely happy that we won today.”

The doubles rubber lasted 1hr and 49mins.

KIA South Africa Davis Cup Team Captain, Marcos Ondruska was extremely pleased that the tie had been sealed going into the final day and now he could celebrate with his team. “I am not only pleased, I am ecstatic in the win. I felt my team played the best tennis I have ever seen them play. On Friday Lloyd was simply brilliant giving his opponent no chance whatsoever. Nik fought a fight like no other – coming back from match points down to win probably the best win of his career.

“The doubles boys put the cherry on the cake by doing a great job on court today” said Ondruska. “Each and every member of my squad played an important part in the overall victory. I am extremely grateful to each one of them and proud to be their Captain.”

Sundays reverse singles will feature South African number one Lloyd Harris taking on Slovenian number one Grega Zemlja followed by South African number two Nik Scholtz taking on Slovenians number two Mike Urbanija. Play starts at 11.00 am.

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