Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
1 Mar 2016
5:44 pm

SA, Luxembourg gear up for Davis Cup clash

Wesley Botton

"Things like injuries can happen, which is why I want to keep my options open."

Both squads have settled in Centurion, in preparation for the Davis Cup Euro-Africa Group 2 tie between South Africa and Luxembourg at Irene Country Club this week.

Newly appointed SA captain Marcos Ondruska confirmed on Tuesday his entire five-man squad had arrived for the home fixture, and though they had already enjoyed some practice sessions together, he was keeping his cards close to his chest.

The final four-man teams must be announced one hour before Thursday’s draw, with the tie getting underway on Friday.

“With regards to selection, I still have a fixed idea about where things are moving, in a general direction which I feel is right,” Ondruska said.

“But things like injuries can happen, which is why I want to keep my options open.”

The Luxembourg team was also not finalised, despite skipper Johny Goudenbouer naming a four-man squad in the build-up.

While the tiny European nation’s top-ranked player, world No 46 Gilles Muller, was not included in their squad, there was a slim chance he could turn up for the tie with no ATP tournaments on his schedule this week.

“We don’t know if he is coming. At this stage he’s not here, but I’m not sure. It’s up to him,” Goudenbouer said.

Arriving from a cold European winter, the skipper admitted they were still trying to acclimatise ahead of the three-day tie.

“It’s been a bit difficult. Before we left Luxembourg it was zero degrees (celsius) and we’re at 1 500m (above sea level) here,” he said.

“The balls are flying a bit in practice, and we’re just trying to keep the balls in court, but the guys are getting better as the week progresses.”