Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
25 Nov 2015
5:36 pm

Ondruska named SA Davis Cup captain

Wesley Botton

Marcos Ondruska will lead SA's Davis Cup team next season, as they look to claw their way back up the ladder in the men's international team competition.

Ondruska, who played 12 Davis Cup ties for SA between 1993 and 2001, was announced on Wednesday as the non-playing captain for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

He replaces Earl Grainger, who was appointed on a temporary basis in January after former captain John-Laffnie de Jager resigned under controversial circumstances. Grainger would retain his place as the nation’s Fed Cup captain, Tennis SA confirmed.

“My years as a Davis Cup player have given me the experience to understand the format, be comfortable with it, and guide the players when things get close and the tie is on the line,” Ondruska said in a statement.

The 42-year-old skipper, who achieved a career-high ATP singles ranking of No 27 during his playing days, hoped to create a base for the SA team at the Van der Meer Academy in the United States.

“This is the next logical step for players who have collected enough points and have a start on the ATP rankings,” he said.

“There are numerous Futures and Challengers (tournaments) within driving distance from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.”

The players would also be able to draw on the knowledge and expertise of former world No 6 and Olympic silver medallist Wayne Ferreira, who was based in the area.

“We would like to ensure that all the players’ games are improving and getting to that next level even while on tour,” Ondruska said.

“This provides a functional and affordable option that should ensure the players’ individual success, and also help the Davis Cup success in tandem.”

The Davis Cup team will compete in the Euro-Africa Group II division again next year, after avoiding relegation in 2015, while the Fed Cup squad will return to Group I for the first time in 10 years after being promoted this season.