JOHANNESBURG: (By Steve Jobs)– South African Davis Cup stalwart Izak van der Merwe is still unwell and it is likely that he will remain unfit to play in the critical Euro-Africa Group One relegation tie against Russia in upcoming month.
However, South Afican team captain John-Laffnie de Jager, hoped that Van der Merwe will rejoin squad in coming days.
“After surgery to his ankle and heel, Izak is on way to consistent progress. Izak stays out of tournament tennis for the last five months due to fitness issue,” said De Jager.
“I was hoping that Izak would soon be part of team in doubles, if not singles.
“However, the doctors have recommended him to stay away from competitive play before November, although I must lay full stress that Izak was desperately eager to join us in in the tie that is of vital significance to South African tennis.”
Breaking news for De Jager is that Ruan Roelofse has overcome hamstring strain during the Slovenia tie and should be ready for the tie in Russia that begins on October 19.
With South African number one Kevin Anderson does not end put an end his controversial 20-month boycott of Davis Cup matches, De Jager is believed to be for the same line-up that faced Slovenia.
The South Africa’s good time has surfaced after South Africa played in World Group play-offs in each of the past four years and might well have found a position in the competition’s pinnacle segment for the first time since 1998 had Anderson consistently made himself available.
South African tennis officials commented that there was no proof at this stage of any change in Anderson’s stance and plans are afloat to name a squad without the world’s 21st-ranked player.
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