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Consolation win but SA go down 4-1 to Slovenia
- Updated: September 16, 2013
A strong Slovenian team wrapped up a 4-1 victory over South Africa on Sunday to secure their spot in the Davis Cup Euro-Africa Group one section in 2014 at the Park Tivoli Tennis Complex in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
After a rain delayed Sunday start, Slovenia Captain, Blaz Trupej named Janez Semrajc to replace Blaz Kavcic to play South Africa’s Rik De Voest in the first of the two reverse singles, reports Sapa.
Semrajc beat De Voest 6-2 6-4 to take his country to a 4-0 lead over the visitors.
South African team captain John Laffnie De Jager then named Nikala Scholtz as his singles player in the last rubber of the tie.
Scholtz replaced the injured Ruan Roelofse (hamstring) and went up against Blaz Rola. The match lasted only five games when Rola leading Scholtz 3-2 on serve, threw in the towel injured. Scholtz therefore won the match and the only point for the struggling South African team.
Due to both reverse singles rubbers on Sunday being “dead rubbers” the rules of Davis Cup allow both rubbers to be played over the best of three sets and not the regular five sets.
South Africa now meet Russia away in a promotion relegation tie. The winner of the South Africa-Russia clash, which will be played from October 18 to 20, will remain in Group One while the loser will be relegated to Group Two.
De Jager admitted that his side had been beaten by a better team. “We always knew that playing Slovenia away in Slovenia was going to be a tall order,” said De Jager following the heavy defeat.
“Despite us being as best prepared as we could be, the Slovenian team made the very most of their home tie advantage and really proved to be the better team this weekend.
“I would like to congratulate Slovenia on their emphatic win. We will now have to regroup and focus on the all-important tie next month against Russia.
“Playing Russia away in Russia will be rough but once again we will do our very best to take on the challenge with everything we have.”