South Africa's Raven Klassen, left will be the player expected to perform well for South Africa's upcoming Davis Cup tie. Photo: David Rowland/AP Photo

JOHANNESBURG  South Africa’s Davis Cup team captain Marcos Ondruska has named a competitive squad to take on Bulgaria in a Euro/Africa Group II tie at the Kelvin Grove Tennis Club in Cape Town on the weekend of September 13-14.

The four-man team is a mixture of experience and young talent, including Lloyd Harris, Raven Klaasen, Ruan Roelofse and Philip Henning.

Tennis South Africa (TSA) on Tuesday also announced that a trio of next-generation young players will join the squad as practice partners for the week. They are Richard Thongoana and Bertus Kruger (both US College-based players) and Joubert Klopper (the current SA Under-18 Junior national singles champion).

In announcing the team ahead of the crucial tie, Ondruska said: “Everyone is excited about playing this tie in Cape Town. The team is in great form leading up to this point.

“Lloyd is enjoying a career-high on the rankings, and he is playing consistently well against the top players in the world.

“Raven is always a stalwart for the team, and his leadership and experience provide an opportunity for all the players to learn from him.

“His doubles Davis Cup partner, Ruan, is in fine form, having played a lot of singles in the run-up to this tie. I'm looking forward to seeing his improvement.

“It's also great to see our younger generation stepping up and being included in the team, with the inclusion of Philip and the other next-gen players.”

South Africa will return to Group I should it win this fixture, with an improved chance of then getting into the newly-restructured Davis Cup World Group.

Both Harris and Klaasen are fresh off their respective singles and doubles participation at the US Open, currently taking place at Flushing Meadows in New York.

Bulgaria on Wednesday announced their travelling team, which includes Dimitar Kuzmanov, Alexander Lazarov, Alexander Donski, Gabriel Donev and Adrian Andreev.

The official draw is set for Thursday, September 12, from 11:00 to 13:00 at Groot Constantia. 

African News Agency (ANA)