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Wolmarans back to Davis Cup duty for SA against Turkey

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South Africa will go into their Euro/Africa Zone Group II Davis Cup away tie against Turkey from 6-8 March with all guns blazing.
Newly appointed captain Earl Grainger has announced a ‘best possible’ squad to take on the Turks, made up of Raven Klaasen, Tucker Vorster, Fritz Wolmarans and Ruan Roelofse.
For the first time since 2007 Fritz Wolmarans will be representing South Africa and is the highest ranked singles player in the named side. Raven Klaasen, the country’s highest world-ranked doubles player will also be playing and this will be his 11th tie for South Africa.
Despite South Africa’s top player Kevin Anderson not being available for the tie, Grainger said he was pleased that the four had made themselves available.
‘As new captain my main objective was to get the best team assembled. I made contact with Kevin Anderson and his agent and I had good, positive discussions with both but unfortunately Kevin said due to scheduling reasons he could not play against Turkey. I am hopeful that down the line he’ll play Davis Cup and I will continue to work hard at making that possible. Kevin will no doubt be a major asset to our Davis Cup team and his participation in the team will no doubt improve the team’s chances of success.’
‘Regardless of Kevin not being available I am pleased Fritz is back in the Davis Cup fold and that Raven once again has shown his loyal support to his country by making himself available. With Tucker and Ruan also named we have the best possible side to take on Turkey. It’s a very experienced team. It’s crucial for us to win this tie to give us any chance of promotion back to Group 1.’
Grainger named Dean O’Brien as the reserve. ‘We will not be travelling with five players in the squad. If we did I could only name four players anyway at the draw which would leave the fifth player on the bench. We felt it only fair to take the four players and name a reserve in this case Dean who can continue with his schedule but will be available should any of the four named players named injure themselves ahead of the official draw’ said Grainger.
A key member of the team announced is the evergreen Klaasen; the team’s doubles specialist. In 2014 Klaasen formed a new partnership with multiple Grand Slam winner Leander Paes, Klaasen is playing the best tennis of his career at the age of 32. Ranked 29th on the world doubles ranking, Klaasen has enjoyed a solid run recently. At the Heineken Open in Auckland, New Zealand he and Paes won the title. At the start of the year, Klaasen and Paes also reached the final in Chennai, India.
Back in the frame, Wolmarans said ‘I’m very excited to be part of the Davis Cup team again after a few years. It’s always an honour to represent my country and I am looking forward to the challenge in Turkey and will do my best to help the team get back to Group 1. I will be playing a Challenger tournament in Mexico followed by a Futures event in Turkey the week prior to the tie which should help me get used to the Turkish climate ahead of the tie.’
The tie will be played at the Mersin Tennis Complex in Mersin, Turkey.
The South African team and their current ranking positions: Raven Klaasen (29 doubles); Tucker Vorster (431 singles, doubles 441); Ruan Roelofse (singles, 457 doubles 254); Fritz Wolmarans (429 singles; 1174 doubles).

Picture of Wolmarans courtesy of BLD Communications


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