Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
22 Nov 2016
3:52 pm

Ondruska eager to return to Irene

Wesley Botton

South Africa will face Estonia at Irene Country Club in their first-round Euro-Africa Group II tie in February.

The hard-court surface and high altitude should again work in his team’s favour, according to SA Davis Cup captain Marcos Ondruska, when the national men’s tennis squad return to Centurion for their opening clash of the 2017 campaign.

South Africa will face Estonia at Irene Country Club in their first-round Euro-Africa Group II tie in February, Tennis SA announced on Tuesday, with the venue set to host a Davis Cup fixture for the fifth straight season.

“We have enjoyed great support from the people of Gauteng over the years when playing home ties at Irene, and the faster court and altitude will play in the favour of South Africa,” Ondruska said.

Despite playing without struggling SA No 1 Kevin Anderson, who remained indefinitely unavailable for selection, the national side won three of their four matches at Irene since the 2013 season.

They continued to battle, however, in their attempt to claw their way up for the ladder in the international team competition. After escaping the relegation contest this year, the SA squad also missed out on the promotion playoffs, retaining their place in Group II.

A win against the lowly-ranked Estonians, who were promoted this season from Group III, would keep them in the running for promotion to Group I, while a defeat would send them straight to the relegation playoffs.