Davis Cup: Harris Up First For South Africa Against Venezuela

Lloyd Harris and Brandon Perez (photo: Tennis South Africa)

NEW YORK, September 17, 2021 (Tennis South Africa Press Release)

South Africa’s top-ranked player, Lloyd Harris, will open the national team’s account against Brandon Perez in the Davis Cup by Rakuten Group II tie between South Africa and Venezuela at Forest Hills Stadium in New York on Saturday.

While Perez was listed well outside the Top 1,000 in the world rankings, it was set to be a crucial encounter for World No. 31 Harris, who was hoping to get the South Africa team off to a good start after being slotted in for the first match at Friday’s draw.

“It’s a unique situation playing at a neutral venue (due to security concerns in Venezuela) but we’re in such a historic place and we’re playing against such a good team,” said Harris, fresh off his breakthrough quarter-final result at the US Open.

“The boys and I have been practising hard, so we’re just looking forward to the weekend now.”

For the second singles match on Saturday, 20-year-old prospect Philip Henning was drawn against Ricardo Rodriguez.

“I think it’s good that Lloyd is starting off. The guy has a lot of momentum and he’s playing really well, and it’ll give me confidence if he gets us an early win,” said Henning, who competes for the University of Georgia on the US collegiate circuit.

In the doubles fixture, the experienced pairing of Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse were gearing up for a meeting with Luis David Martinez and Dimitri Badra.

In the reverse singles matches on Sunday, Harris was drawn against Rodriguez and Henning was set to face Perez.

Christo van Rensburg, the new South African Davis Cup captain, was satisfied with the draw.

“You always like to get your best player out on court as quickly as you can,” van Rensburg said.

“It also helps him (Harris) prepare for his match in terms of times and scheduling.”

The winners of the tie will progress to the Davis Cup Group I playoffs.

The tie will be streamed live on Tennis South Africa Youtube channel.

The highlights of the tie will be broadcast on SABC Sport Channel – TelkomONE and Openview Channel 124.
Day 1 highlights: Sunday, 19 September 2021 from 07h00 (SA time)
Day 2 highlights: Monday, 20 September 2021 at 15h00 (SA time)