NEWS SPORTS

SA ready for the Davis Cup against Israel

TEENAGE PROSPECT Dylan Salton and Vaughn Hunter are in line to make their debuts in the international team competition next month after being included in the national squad for South Africa’s Davis Cup by Rakuten World Group I promotion playoff.

Salton, 19, and Hunter form part of a five-member squad announced by SA captain Christo van Rensburg for the promotion playoff against Israel, to be played in Ashdod between 4-5 March 2022.

They will be joined by Davis Cup stalwarts Lloyd Harris, Raven Klaasen, and Ruan Roelofse.

High-flying Harris, veteran Klaasen and experienced campaigner Roelofse all formed part of the squad that beat Venezuela 4-0 in their Davis Cup by Rakuten World Group II clash at a neutral venue in New York last year, earning South Africa a spot in the playoffs.

“The team is very diversified. I am well covered in singles and doubles in case injuries hit us,” Van Rensburg said after naming his team.

“Lloyd being our best player makes it easy to put him at number one in singles, and Raven fills that spot in doubles. He has had an amazing career and he’s still going strong.

“The rest of the team gives me plenty of versatility in singles and doubles. Ruan and Vaughn can step in any time with doubles, and Dylan together with Ruan and Vaughn can fill the role as the second singles player.

“Israel has a left-handed player in their line-up, so Vaughn and Dylan add value in training for Lloyd and Raven in the build-up to the tie.”

The squad will also be boosted by the presence of Arthur Ashe Growthpoint Centre Head Coach, Patrick Tsunke, who will travel with the Davis Cup team as an assistant coach to work alongside Van Rensburg and gain experience at elite senior level.

South Africa have twice faced Israel in the Davis Cup, with their opponents winning both clashes.

In 2001, in Ramat HaSharon, Israel earned a 3-2 victory, and in Irene in 2018, they again secured a 3-2 win.

SA team (singles/doubles world ranking):

Lloyd Harris (35/135)

Raven Klaasen (NA/24)

Ruan Roelofse (1086/386)

Dylan Salton (1124/1599)

Vaughn Hunter (1222/1020)

Captain – Christo van Rensburg

Assistant coach – Patrick Tsunke

The SA team, spearheaded by Lloyd Harris, reached the Davis Cup by Rakuten World Group I promotions play-offs after defeating Venezuela 4-0 in their Group II tie in New York in in September 2021.

From L-R: (Back) Philip Henning, Lleyton Cronje, Ruan Roelofse, Siphosothando Montsi, (Front) Raven Klaasen, Christo van Rensburg (Captain) and Lloyd Harris. (Credit: Tennis South Africa).

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