Hard-hitting Lloyd Harris will have the country’s hopes on his shoulders opening South Africa’s Davis Cup campaign in their Euro-African Group 1 playoff tie against Portugal in Lisbon starting on Friday.
South Africa will be relying on the 21-year-old’s red-hot form to get them off to a winning start as they look to avoid relegation.
“I feel good going into the tie and really looking forward to getting out there first to get the team started,” Harris said.
“Obviously, the ideal would be getting the team to a winning start but I am not going to pressurize myself, I am playing good tennis and look forward to playing for my country.”
Harris will go up against Portuguese number two Pedro Sousa while Nik Scholtz will serve in the second singles rubber against the home team’s number-one Joao Sousa.
“The Portuguese on paper
havea higher ranked team but the KIA South African Davis Cup team are ready for the challenge,” said South African captain Marcos Ondruska.
“One never knows in Davis Cup. The rankings are quite frankly irrelevant when it comes to Davis Cup as we have seen in so many ties from the past where lower ranked players have upset the odds when playing for their country.”
Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse will be back on duty for South Africa in the doubles rubber where they will look to extend their winning streak to eight ties as a partnership.
The doubles rubber will be followed by the two reverse singles in the tie that will be played over two days instead of the traditional two.
Each of the five rubbers will be played over the best of three sets where the first team to win three rubbers will be declared the tie winner.
Order of play:
Lloyd Harris (South Africa) vs Pedro Sousa (Portugal)
Nik Scholtz vs Joao Sousa
Doubles: Raven Klaasen/Ruan Roelofse vs Joao Sousa/Gastao Elias
Lloyd Harris vs Joao Sousa
Nik Scholtz (RSA) vs Pedro Sousa (POR)