Lloyd Harris will open South Africa’s account when they take on Portugal in a crucial Davis Cup Euro-Africa 1 relegation clash in Lisbon on starting on Friday.
The loser of this tie will fall out of the group‚ which would mean a potentially long climb back to the Davis Cup finals.
SA No 1 and world-ranked No 8 Kevin Anderson was not available for this tie‚ which means that Harris is the highest-ranked SA player in team.
Harris‚ ranked 112 in the world‚ was drawn to play Portugal’s No 2 Pedro Sousa in the opening match of the tie at the Club Internacional De Foot-Ball.
Nik Scholtz will then follow Harris and pay the second singles rubber against Portuguese No 1 Joao Sousa.
“It doesn’t really make a difference who goes out first but having Lloyd play the opening rubber is what I hoped for‚” SA captain Marcos Ondruska said.
“Lloyd is playing some really good tennis and if he can win his opener on Friday it will put South Africa in a very good position. It will also allow for Lloyd to get some extra time for recovery before coming back to play the reverse singles on Saturday.”
“The Portuguese‚ on paper‚ have a higher-ranked team but the South African Davis Cup team are ready for the challenge.