DAVIS CUP: Raven Klaasen was named in the SA team to play Israel next month. Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – KIA South African Davis Cup Captain, Marcos Ondruska, has named an unchanged squad to take on Israel, from the 2-3 February 2018, at Irene Country Club outside Pretoria.

The KIA SA Davis Cup squad selected by Ondruska includes Lloyd Harris, Nik Scholtz, Ruan Roelofse, Raven Klaasen and Tucker Vorster. Former elite doubles player, and current ATP tour coach, Jeff Coetzee, will act as the coaching consultant for the team.

Two of the country’s most promising young players - Philip Henning and Siphos Montsi - will join the squad as hitting partners, in order to gain Davis Cup experience. Henning (17) is currently in Australia preparing to play in the Junior Australian Open. 

Last week the youngster from Bloemfontein impressed by qualifying for the Traralgon Junior International, beating world number 8 ranked junior, Nicolas Mejia, of Colombia, in the opening round. 

Siphos Montsi (18), who was a hitting partner with the squad during last year’s Davis Cup home tie versus Slovenia, also rose to prominence Down Under, when his play at the 2017 Junior Australian Open saw him hailed by Judy Murray, the mother of Andy, as a future star.

Ondruska told the media in Wednesday's conference call from Seattle, USA, that consistency was key to the recent success of the team and the players named had done South Africa proud in 2017.

“I think it’s going to be the most interesting tie that we've played in the recent past. The guys in the squad are as ready as they can be. They have had a good December and January getting their bodies ready for the demands of Davis Cup as well as their year around tournament play. We look forward to the first round and we’ll bring the performance we've been bringing to the table for an exciting tie,” said Ondruska.

The 26-year-old Nik Scholtz of Boland is likely to be nominated by Ondruska as the team’s second singles player. Photo: TSA

Lloyd Harris of Cape Town, ranked 291 in the ATP world rankings, is South Africa’s second-highest ranked world singles player behind Kevin Anderson (12). 

This is Harris’ sixth Davis Cup selection. Harris played a key role in South Africa’s win over Denmark in Aarhus, Denmark last year winning both his singles rubbers which secured South Africa a 3-1 promotion victory. 

During 2017, Harris was undefeated in Davis Cup winning all six of his singles rubbers, in the three ties played. 

African News Agency (ANA)