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Kevin available for Davis Cup

South Africa will be able to field a full-strength side for their vital World Group play-off Davis Cup tie against Germany in Stuttgart from 17-19 September with the news that current world No 87 Kevin Anderson has made himself available.

The squad announced by the South African Tennis Association is: Kevin Anderson (ranked 87 in singles), Rik de Voest (216 singles, 101 doubles), Izak van der Merwe (189 singles, 180 doubles), Wesley Moodie (20 doubles) and Jeff Coetzee (103 doubles). The team will be captained by John-Laffnie de Jager.

The good news for De Jager is that both Anderson and Van der Merwe are in excellent form. Anderson qualified for the Canadian Masters in Toronto and has also moved into the second round where he will play 16th seed Sam Querrey for a place in the third round and a possible match-up with world No 1 Rafael Nadal.

ÔÇ£I’m honoured to be able to play once again for South Africa and am pleased that the timing of the tie fitted in with my schedule,” said Anderson, ÔÇ£With our best possible team travelling to Germany, we have a great chance against the Germans, let’s hope our joint efforts as a united team will make South Africa proud.ÔÇØ

Van der Merwe comes off a major victory in the Mastercard Tennis Cup in Campos Do Jordao, Brazil, where he put out top seed and hometown favourite Ricardo Mello 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 in the final.

This victory raised him ranked to a career-best 189 and saw him pass Rik de Voest as the No 2 ranked singles player in the country.

Most of the SA team will be in action at the US Open later this month and will then need to adapt from the quick American hardcourts to the slow red clay of the TC Weissenhof Stadium in Stuttgart.

ÔÇ£I am delighted that I was able to select my best team for this crucial tie. It is great that Kevin is back playing. It will be a tough challenge but this is when we are very dangerous as a team. We are looking forward to having another opportunity to try and get into the World groupÔÇØ said De Jager.

This will be the ninth Davis Cup meeting between Germany and South Africa. Germany have won their last four and lead their overall series 5-3. The two nations last met in 2005 in the Europe/Africa Group I second round at the Standard Bank Arena at Ellis Park, which is the only time to date that South Africa hosted Germany.

South Africa are into the World Group play-offs for the second successive year and are attempting to gain World Group status for the first time since 1998. They defeated Finland 5-0 in their Europe/Africa Group I tie in May to reach this stage. The last time the South Africans played away from home was two years ago.

Germany are attempting to retain their World Group status for the sixth successive year. They lost 4-1 to France in the first round, marking the first time since 2006 that they had lost their opening tie of the Davis Cup season.


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