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SA Davis Cup team on back foot after two losses
- Updated: September 14, 2013
Slovenia scored two important wins on the opening day of their crucial Euro/Africa Group 1 Davis Cup play-off tennis tie against South Africa on Friday.
The home side, playing at the Park Tivoli Tennis Complex┬áin the capital Ljubljana won the opening rubber when their second ranked player, Blaz Rola beat South African number one, Rik de Voest in straight sets 6-1 6-4 6-4.
De Voest, ranked 162nd in world struggled on the slow clay against the talented Rola ranked 208th and the current NCAA champion held serve throughout the match.
Slovenian Captain, Blaz Trupej described the performance as “outstanding”. “Rik is a remarkable player with a great fighting spirit. But today Rola played outstanding and really did his country proud.
“Rola was simply remarkable, didn’t drop serve throughout. He was majestic! Bravo Blaz Bravo!ÔÇØ
After Rola’s demolition of De Voest, the Slovenian No1, Blaz Kavcic gave his country the important second point with a straight set 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 1hr 47min. Kavcic won the first set in 23 minutes losing only three points on serve.
Overall Kavcic won 87 points to 57 won by Roelofse.
De Voest felt that he didn’t play badly in the first rubber despite his loss. ÔÇ£I was comfortable on the clay and felt I was striking the ball well out there. Rola is just a real talent and played very well today.
“He started fast and I thought he might cool down but he didn’t and was just a much better player on the dayÔÇØ said De Voest.
South African Captain, John Laffnie De Jager said it had been a real tough day at the office but he was proud in the effort his boys put in.
The doubles rubber will be played on Saturday afternoon and South Africa will 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.
Saturday’s doubles line-ups:
Janez Semrajc/Grega Zemlja (SLO) v Raven Klaasen/Ruan Roelofse (SA)
Blaz Kavcic (SLO) v Rik de Voest (SA)
Blaz Rola (SLO) v Ruan Roelofse (SA)