SA take commanding lead on the opening day of Davis Cup against Estonia

Lloyd Harris of South Africa in action against Vladimir Ivanov during the opening singles of the Davis Cup tie between South Africa and Estonia at the Irene Country Club on February 03, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images)
Lloyd Harris of South Africa in action against Vladimir Ivanov during the opening singles of the Davis Cup tie between South Africa and Estonia at the Irene Country Club on February 03, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images)

South Africa took a commanding 2-0 lead against Estonia on the opening day of the Europe/Africa Group II Davis Cup tie in Pretoria on Friday.

In a blow for the visitors‚ Jurgen Zopp withdrew injured in the first match against Nik Scholtz while trailing 6-4 4-6 3-6‚ and then Lloyd Harris blew away Vladimir Ivanov 6-4 6-3 6-2.

Zopp quit before the start of the fourth set after receiving medical attention for an abdominal muscle strain‚ which was particularly painful while serving.

He could not say if he would play again in the tie.

“The serve is the most important shot in these conditions‚” said Zopp who‚ at 317 in the world‚ was 200 ranking points above Scholtz and was central to Estonia’s chances here.

“I was feeling it for quite some time‚ but hoping the adrenaline would get me through. I feel so bad for my team‚ I feel like I let them down.”

Scholtz had survived some scares in the third set‚ saving a break point in the first game and then three in the fifth before breaking Zopp in the eighth.

Raven Klaasen and Ruan Roelofse will try to clinch the tie for SA in Saturday’s doubles match against the unheralded combination of Kenneth Raisma and Mattias Siimar.

 

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