Ferreira boost as SA take on tough Estonia
Team captain Marcos Ondruska has drafted Ferreira‚ who has more Davis Cup victories than any other South African
Estonia have more than Raven Klaasen and his fellow players to worry about in this weekend’s Davis Cup tie against SA — they also have to deal with former singles ace Wayne Ferreira.
Team captain Marcos Ondruska has drafted Ferreira‚ who has more Davis Cup victories than any other South African‚ into the Europe/Africa Group II clash as a consultant.
Ondruska said he and Ferreira would take a look at Estonia at the event.
"We’ll start picking apart some things that they do well‚ and some things that they do less well," he said on Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s draw.
SA are ranked 58th in the world‚ well ahead of Estonia on 79‚ a place higher than Namibia.
But Ondruska expects them to be a tougher proposition than SA’s first opponents at the same Irene Country Club venue in Pretoria a year ago‚ when they thumped Luxembourg 5-0.
It was evident Estonia meant business, Ondruska said.
"You can kind of see it in their attitude and the way they were warming up and the things they’re doing…."
Ferreira met the team for the first time this week.
"It’s a new experience for me‚" said Ferreira‚ whose 41 Davis Cup wins in singles and doubles remains a record.
"I’m interested to watch Lloyd Harris play‚ I’ve heard a lot about him."
Harris‚ 19‚ is SA’s highest-ranked singles player at 288‚ while veteran Klaasen is the top-ranked player in the tie with a doubles rating of 13th.
Klaasen said the Davis Cup brought out the best in players.
"You’ve seen upsets in Davis Cup you don’t generally see in other sports codes and I guarantee you this weekend there will be more.
"When you put on the green-and-gold you expect a little bit more of yourself because you’re not just doing it for yourself.
"I’ve always felt this [playing Davis Cup] was an opportunity to access people that have a knowledge base that I will want to tap into."
Klaasen is the only South African player to have faced Estonia’s top player‚ Jurgen Zopp‚ losing 3-6 4-6 in a singles match in Uzbekistan in 2011.
Zopp‚ ranked 317‚ said the hard court surface would suit his team more than clay at this stage.