Major Boost For Team South Africa

Gilles Muller, the top rated Luxembourg player has not been named in the four man Luxembourg team to face South Africa next weekend in their crucial Europe/Africa Zone Group 2 First Round Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Tie.  The tie to be played from 4-6 March will be staged at the Irene Country Club, Pretoria.  Muller’s exclusion in the nominated team named by the Luxembourg Tennis Federation on Tuesday should be welcome news for South African Captain Marcos Ondruska and his squad as Muller posed a big threat to the South African’s especially on high altitude.

The talented left hander is ranked 46 in world tennis and was ranked as high as 34 last year.  Muller has boasted wins over several top ten players in recent years.  The team named by Luxembourg are ; Ugo Nastasi, Alex Knaff, Tom Diedeich, Mike Scheidweiler with Johny Goudenbour as the non-playing captain.

The Luxembourg Tennis Federation have not yet stated the reason for Gilles Muller not being nominated.  South African captain Marcos Ondruska has named his four man team as Tucker Vorster, Lloyd Harris, Ruan Roelofse and Dean O’Brien.  Originally Ondruska also named Keith-Patrick Crowley as part of his squad and Ondruska confirmed that Crowley would still travel to South Africa as part of the South African outfit.

Ondruska says:  ‘The rules in Davis Cup are that 10 days before the tie you have to name no more than four players to the International Tennis Federation (ITF).  Keith-Patrick may not have been named on Tuesday but he still can be named to play as according to Davis Cup regulations, two changes may be made up until one hour prior to the Draw, which is Thursday next week at 10:00 (09:00 is the deadline for the changes).  This applies to Luxembourg as well and top player Gilles Muller could still be included in their team.’

The teams announced are:

South Africa

Tucker Vorster (single: 301, doubles: 434)
Lloyd Harris (singles: 339, doubles: 595)
Ruan Roelofse (doubles: 129 )
Dean O’Brien (doubles: 123)
Captain: Marcos Ondruska

Luxembourg

Ugo Nastasi (singles:762, doubles:764)
Alex Knaff ( — )
Tom Diederich ( — )
Mike Scheidweiler (doubles: 1442 )
Captain: Johny Goudenbour

South Africa is ranked 56 and Luxembourg is ranked 58 on the Davis Cup world rankings.  This is the first time the two nations will be playing each other.

Photo credit: Tennis South Africa