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Skipper Ondruska confident ahead of SA’s Davis Cup tie
- Updated: March 2, 2016
South African Davis Cup captain, Marcos Ondruska was upbeat at the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Euro/Africa Group 2 tie South Africa vs Luxembourg pre-draw media conference held in Pretoria on Tuesday, telling media at the Irene Country Club that his team had settled and were in good spirits.
‘I have a good bunch of guys who are fit, strike the ball well and are happy and funny and the mood in the camp after two days of practise is upbeat.’
Ondruska said that he was on track with his preparations and was confident his team would be reaching their peak by the weekend. ‘We don’t want to peak too soon so we slowly preparing each player to be ready by the weekend’ said Ondruska.
It seems Ondruska is still sticking to his plan of playing Tucker Vorster and Lloyd Harris in the singles and Dean O’Brien and Ruan Roelofse in the doubles over the weekend. The captain has however also brought Keith-Patrick Crowley into the squad and Crowley could play come Friday should any of the named four player be injured or lose form ahead of the official draw on Thursday.
Pretoria’s Vorster said he was happy to be back in his home town and encouraged the fans to come out to support South Africa.
The Luxembourg team admitted that without their star player Gilles Muller being on their side, they had a weakened chance. Captain Johny Goudenbour said ‘We not sure if Gilles will arrive or not but at this stage he won’t be playing and that obviously isn’t great for us. Gilles is a top 50 player with a lot of experience and would bring a strong chance to the team.’
It seems as the high altitude has troubled the Luxembourg players and made practise very difficult. Luxembourg number one Ugo Nastasi said the balls were ‘flying’ around the court and high altitude was a big challenge. ‘The court is fast and balls are flying and its taking some time to get used to the altitude but each practise has been better than the last and we are sure we will be ready by Friday’ said Nastasi.
South Africa are ranked 56 and Luxembourg 58th on the Davis Cup world rankings. It’s also the first time the two nations will be playing each other.
Programme for the tie:
Friday: 9.45am: Opening Ceremony. The first singles match will start at 10am with the second rubber following immediately thereafter.
Saturday: 12.00pm: Doubles Match
Sunday: 10am: First reverse singles match, followed by final singles match.
All the matches are played as the best of five sets until a result has been achieved.
In the SA team picture are (left to right): Dean O’Brien, Ruan Roelofse, team Captain Marcos Ondruska, Tucker Vorster and Lloyd Harris. Picture by Reg Caldecott