South Africa’s top-ranked junior singles tennis player Philip Henning was the surprise inclusion for the country’s Davis Cup Euro/Africa Group 1 relegation play-off against Portugal in Lisbon from October 19 to 20.
While the Henning could possibly make his debut in the tie, high-flying Lloyd Harris was named as country’s top singles player while Nik Scholtz was pencilled in as his lieutenant.
Doubles stalwarts Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse will be looking to extend their unbeaten partnership of eight matches.
South Africa’s non-playing Davis Cup captain Marcos Ondruska said Portugal would pose a serious threat on their home turf but it was a challenge they would relish.
“Portugal have a lot of depth. I am expecting the Portuguese to name a full-strength side and with them having three players ranked in the world’s top 200 it gives them ample options on selection,” Ondruska said.
“It’s never easy playing away. Portugal have chosen outdoor clay which is their preferred surface and they will have the crowds behind them but saying that I have a motivated team, Lloyd Harris and Raven Klaasen are in great form, so I expect the tie to be an interesting battle.”
South Africa lost their first-round Group 1 tie against Israel 2-3 at the Irene Country Club in February and will be looking to avoid relegation.
Harris is the second highest ranked South African player on the world rankings behind Kevin Anderson, who was not available for the tie.
Henning has played all four junior Grand Slam’s this year while he has won seven out of a possible eight national singles titles.
The KIA SA team:
Lloyd Harris (113 singles, 286 doubles), Nik Scholtz (492 singles, 1325 doubles), Raven Klaasen (18 doubles), Ruan Roelofse (158 doubles), Philip Henning (ITF Junior ranking 66).