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De Voest delivers Davis Cup win for South Africa

South Africa have rallied to a 3-2 win over Monaco on Sunday in the first round of the Davis Cup Euro-Africa Group One tie played at the Irene Country Club in Pretoria.

Rik De Voest sealed the tie defeating Benjamin Balleret in his reverse singles match 7-6 (2) 6-2 6-3, reports Sapa.

“I was under a bit of pressure coming into this match, but it was also an opportunity,” De Voest said.

“I acknowledged I didn’t play well on Friday and I wanted to come out today and prove a point that I could play the way I wanted to and I did that today.

“I was inspired by Nik’s [Scholtz] match (on Friday). I sat there and watched how he fought hard with heart to be up two sets and eventually win the match.

“For those guys to lift after I kind of let them down on Friday, that was good team effort, and to come out today and play the way I did, I was really happy with that.”

It was a tight opening set as both players held serve, forcing a tie-breaker which De Voest won 7-6 (2).

Changing his tactics, De Voest then applied the pressure to easily win the next two sets, sealing victory for the home side.

“I was definitely more aggressive. We both served well in the first set.

“The tie break was crucial and I was happy to get that first set under my belt.

“I took the returns a lot closer to the baseline; I pushed my opponent and created opportunities for myself, forcing him to make errors.”

South Africa’s number two singles player Nik Scholtz retired from his reverse singles match against Romain Arneodo, with a leg injury. He was 5-7 down in the first set when he handed Monaco the last point.

On Saturday, Australian Open runner-up Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse defeated Monaco’s Thomas Oger and Guilluame Couillard 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, giving the hosts a 2-1 advantage.

South Africa had levelled the tie 1-1 through Scholtz who upset Balleret 7-5, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 3-6, 6-3 in the second singles match of tie.

In Friday’s opening match Arneodo clinched a hard-fought 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 victory over the more fancied De Voest, to give the visitors an early lead.

The team will now face Lithuania at home, in their second round tie in April.

Picture: Anne Laing/HSM Images


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