Harris To Open South Africa’s Davis Cup Tie Against Israel

Team South Africa (photo: Israel Tennis Association)

ASHDOD, March 3, 2022 (Tennis SA Press Release)

Though they remain cautious ahead of what could be a challenging tie away from home, South Africa will turn out as favourites after unveiling a full-strength team at Thursday’s draw for their Davis Cup by Rakuten World Group I promotion playoff against Israel in Ashdod on Friday and Saturday.

Lloyd Harris, the South African No 1, will face the Israeli team’s No 2, Edan Leshem, in Friday’s opening singles match.

The SA squad’s No 2 nomination, Ruan Roelofse, will face Israel’s No 1, Yshai Oliel, in the second singles rubber.

Harris will then pair up with doubles specialist Raven Klaasen against the home team’s combination of Daniel Cukierman and Jonathan Erlich, followed by the reverse singles contests on Saturday.

While Harris and Klaasen are 34th in the ATP singles and doubles rankings respectively, veteran player Erlich (72nd in doubles) is the only member of the Israeli squad who is ranked among the top 300 in either format.

Following their convincing 4-0 triumph over Venezuela in their Davis Cup by Rakuten World Group II tie last year, which qualified the SA team for the Group I playoffs, national captain Christo van Rensburg said he was confident South Africa could put up another fight in an attempt to climb the global ladder.

“I think I’ve put forward a good team and I have full confidence in them,” Van Rensburg said after the draw.

“Our preparation has been good, and there is a positive mood in the camp, so I’m very excited about this tie.”