The squad announced comprises of Tucker Vorster, Lloyd Harris, Ruan Roelofse, Dean O’Brien and Keith-Patrick Crowley.
Speaking from Atlanta on Wednesday, Ondruska confirmed that Kevin Anderson, Raven Klaasen and Nik Scholtz are not available for the upcoming tie. “I have been in touch with Kevin, Raven and Nik and confirmed that Kevin remains unavailable at this stage and that Raven due to scheduling can’t make this tie.
“Nik has not been playing competitively for the past few weeks and felt he was not ready to play Davis Cup” said Ondruska.
Ondruska also confirmed Fritz Wolmarans had retired from competitive tennis so could not be considered. The South African captain will be forced to trim the squad down to four players by the start of the tie.
Despite South Africa’s top singles and doubles player Anderson and Klaasen not being available for the tie, Ondruska said he was pleased that he had announced a solid squad.
Lloyd Harris, aged 18, is in his first year as a senior player and is one of the most exciting prospects to emerge in South African tennis in recent years. The Capetonian will be playing in his first tie should he make Ondruska’s final four players.
Harris has, however, been part of previous Davis Cup squads as part of the Tennis South Africa (TSA) programme in grooming up and coming players for Davis Cup duty.
Harris is expected to be considered for the singles alongside Tucker Vorster whose inclusion should delight the home crowds as Vorster is a native of the Capital.
South Africa’s second highest ranked doubles player Dean O’Brien of Sandton made a decision a year ago to focus on doubles and the decision has paid off with O’Brien climbing the rankings impressively with him on the verge of breaking into the world’s top 100.
O’Brien should partner Ruan Roelofse who like Harris comes from Cape Town. Roelofse although has a singles ranking is also concentrating on the doubles on tour. O’Brien and Roelofse have played together on a regular basis with great success.
Keith-Patrick Crowley also of Cape Town has been part of the Davis Cup squad before but has yet to play for South Africa. Crowley who was in South Africa last year for the Digicall Futures Series has made impressive moves up the world rankings in recent months, especially on the doubles rankings.
Ondruska warned that Luxembourg would be a strong challenge for South Africa especially with the visitors expected to name left-handed seasoned pro Gilles Muller ranked 40 as their number one player.
“Davis Cup is never easy. It’s a real fight for both teams to come out tops and anything is possible in Davis Cup” said Ondruska. “However we have home advantage and high altitude advantage which hopefully will work in our favour” admitted Ondruska.
“I have heard that Irene Country Club is a great venue and we hope to get lots of support from the local tennis supporters” added Ondruska.
Ondruska said he was looking forward to captaining South Africa for the first time. “I have played a lot of Davis Cup and have played under a bunch of different captains. Now it’s my turn to lead the team and make the decisions and choices and I am really looking forward to it. I see it as a great honour and really can’t wait!”
Luxembourg will only be naming their side ten days before the tie as per the Davis Cup rules.