Tennis SA wait on Anderson
Johannesburg – While the other candidates have made themselves available for South Africa's Euro-Africa Davis Cup tie against Poland in April, potential kingpin Kevin Anderson remains non-commital about participating in the crucial tie in Warsaw.
“Time is running out. I need to announce our squad before the end of the week,” SA Davis Cup captain John-Laffnie de Jager said on Sunday.
“I'm hoping Kevin still decides to come to the party to join up with confirmed regulars Rik De Voest, Izak van der Merwe and Raven Klaasen.”
De Jager said Tennis SA chief executive Ian Smith was involved in ongoing negotiations with Anderson and hoped to come up with a deal that would persuade South Africa's top player to reverse his controversial non-availability of last year's unsuccessful World Group playoff against Canada.
“With the Poles boasting a player of the calibre of world No 26 Jerzy Janowicz and a strong, all-round supporting line-up, our hopes of qualifying for a fifth successive World Group playoff later in the year will depend heavily on Kevin's presence,” De Jager said.
Anderson has played only two Davis Cup ties since 2008.
The big-serving South African has recovered successfully from the elbow surgery he underwent in January after the Australian Open, where he reached the fourth round before losing to world No 6 Tomas Berdych.
The South African, rated 30th in the world, is due to make his comeback this week while defending the title he won at the ATP's Delray Beach Open last year – beating players of the calibre of Andy Roddick and John Isner in the process.
“With Kevin present, I believe we would have a fighting chance, particularly as we have just learnt that the tie will be staged on an indoor hardcourt surface that is familiar to our players,” De Jager said.
Victory would also give South Africa another chance to return to the elite World Group of the Davis Cup for the first time since 1999.
In the past four years, South Africa have failed to break the elusive barrier at the final hurdle after defeats against India, Germany, Croatia and Canada. – Sapa