It was no surprise when Tennis South Africa (TSA) announced on Tuesday they had opted for a high altitude venue for their forthcoming Davis Cup by BNP Euro Africa Group 2 round 1 tie vs Luxembourg. The Irene Country Club in the City of Tshwane was once again named by TSA as the preferred venue for the tie to be played next month from 4 to 6 March, 2016. A medium to fast hard court will be laid for the tie.
This is the first time South Africa and Luxembourg will meet in Davis Cup competition and it will be the first time newly appointed South African Davis Cup Captain, Marcos Ondruska will lead his country. South Africa in 2015 went up against Ireland in the Euro/Africa Relegation play-offs also staged in Centurion at the Irene Country Club where South Africa romped past Ireland 5-0 and avoided relegation to Group 1. Fritz Wolmarans and Tucker Vorster won a couple of tight four-setters on the opening day to give the hosts a handy 2-0 lead.
Then Dean O’Brien and Ruan Roelofse combined in the doubles contest to seal the tie. Vorster and Roelofse added to Ireland’s misery, by triumphing in the Sunday reverse singles too. Luxembourg in 2015 got no joy when they drew Bulgaria. Bulgaria took the tie 5-0 meaning Luxembourg remains in group 2 for 2016.
Luxembourg’s best performances in the Davis Cup competition have been reaching the Europe/Africa Zone Group I second round, which it achieved in 1993, 2003, 2004 and 2006. Irene has played host to three Davis Cup ties over the past two years. South Africa won the ties versus Monaco and Ireland but lost closely to Lithuania making it a happy hunting ground for the hosts.
Tie Director, Clark Coetzee says that the success of hosting the Davis Cup at Irene Country Club over the past two years made the choice easy: ‘TSA enjoys a sound working relationship with Irene Country Club and our players have always given the club and the crowd support it attracts the thumbs up.’ Tickets are available at R100.00 per person and at R250 for a season ticket via Webtickets.co.za and Pick n Pay stores.
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott