South Africa slipped back down to the Euro-Africa Group 2 division at the weekend, after being handed a 4-0 hammering by Portugal in their Davis Cup Group 1 relegation tie in Lisbon.
We take a glance at the highlights of the two-day fixture, held on Friday and Saturday.
Singles – Lloyd Harris (RSA) v Pedro Sousa (POR)
The in-form SA team’s No 1 player was outplayed by his opponent, with Harris falling in straight sets to Sousa, who slammed his way to a convincing 6-1 6-1 victory.
Singles – Nik Scholtz (RSA) v Joao Sousa (POR)
Though he was able to put up more of a fight than his younger compatriot on the slow clay surface, Scholtz was also handed a one-sided defeat, falling in straight sets as Portuguese No 1 Sousa secured a 6-3 6-2 win.
Doubles – Raven Klaasen/Ruan Roelofse (RSA) v Joao Sousa/Gastao Elias (POR)
Having stood firm in their partnership for the national team in recent years, Klaasen and Roelofse were handed their first defeat as a duo, with Sousa and Elias combining for a 6-4 6-7(4) 6-2 victory to secure the win for the hosts, who retained their place in Group 1.
“It was tough conditions out there. The court certainly was prepared well by the Portuguese to suit their games, and with the capacity crowd behind them it made it tough. We had our chances and felt we were playing well enough to win the rubber, but Joao and Gastao were just too strong.” – Klaasen
Singles – Philip Henning (RSA) v Joao Domingues (POR)
Henning was made to work hard, gaining valuable experience on debut. The teenager produced a battle in the first set of the dead rubber match, but Domingues took control in the second, ultimately romping to a 6-4 6-0 triumph.
“It wasn’t the result I hoped for. Joao, like his teammates, played well but… it was nevertheless a great experience and I am honoured and thankful for being selected and for playing.” – Henning