It seems that Davis Cup team mates Tucker Vorster and Lloyd Harris planned a similar day at the Irene Country Club in Pretoria on Friday. The South African number one and two players won their respective singles matches with the identical score over their Luxembourger opponents to give their country a 2-0 lead after day one. It was a dream start for the hosts in their Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Euro/Africa Group 2 first round tie and for debutant captain Marcos Ondruska.
Ondruska says he was pleased with his players performances: ‘Tucker and Lloyd impressed in very tricky conditions. And I have always said that the true character of the players comes out in the tricky situations and both passed with flying colours. We don’t want to get too excited and ahead of ourselves but this is a dream start. There is still a lot of tennis to be played over the next two days and the doubles rubber tomorrow is key. We will go all out to seal the victory tomorrow.’ Vorster opened up for South Africa and admittedly by Vorster himself he didn’t play his best tennis but played well enough to beat Alex Knaff 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours thirteen minutes. Vorster says: ‘The conditions were tough but I kept a good attitude throughout and felt I was very competitive which carried me through. It’s always special to play at home in front of my family and friends and I hope more fans come out to support our team this weekend.’
It was then the turn of 19-year-old Lloyd Harris of Cape Town to make his Davis Cup debut for South Africa. Harris impressed first time out as he upset his Luxembourg number one opponent Ugo Nastasi with the identical score of his team mate 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 however in a lesser time of one hour and 42 minutes. A fist pump to his teammates on clinching match point showed the importance of the win to Harris.
He says: ‘Today’s win will certainly go down as one of the highlights of my young career. I felt I played well and controlled the match from the start. My good form of late continues and hopefully will get better on Sunday.’ The heat was on at a whopping 36 Celsius and the on court temperature some several degrees higher and this certainly effected the Luxembourgers admitted their captain Johny Goudenbour: ‘It was very hot out there and the balls were flying. The hotter it got the faster the balls moved and it was real difficult for my players under these conditions.’ On Saturday the doubles rubber which starts at 12:00 will see South Africans Dean O’Brien and Ruan Roelofse up against Ugo Nastasi and Mike Scheidweiler of Luxembourg.
Order of Play/Results
Friday 4 March 2016
Tucker Vorster (RSA) bt Alex Knaff (Lux) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Lloyd Harris vs. Ugo Nastasi (Lux) 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
Saturday 5 March 2016 (12:00)
Dean O’Brien/Ruan Roelofse (RSA) vs. Mike Scheidweiler/Ugo Nastasi (Lux)
Sunday 6 March 2016 (10:00)
Tucker Vorster (RSA) vs. Ugo Nastasi (Lux)
Lloyd Harris (RSA) vs. Alex Knaff (Lux)
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott