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India to play South Africa

NEW DELHI: India has been drawn to play South Africa in the Davis Cup World Group play-off tennis tie from September 18 to 20.

South Africa will have the option of deciding the surface at home. Rik De Voest (191) and Izak Van Der Merwe (273) had played the key roles for South Africa in its 5-0 victories over Macedonia and Belarus in Europe-Africa zonal competition this year. Jeff Coetzee, with a doubles ranking of 19, is its main doubles player, and partners De Voest, who has a doubles ranking of 42.

The 312th-ranked Raven Klaasen, who had lost to the16-year-old Yuki Bhambri in the second final, and to Vishnu Vardhan in the semifinals of the first tournament in the ITF Futures circuit in Delhi recently, is the other member of the squad. Kevin Anderson, South Africa’s best-ranked player at 149, has not played any of the Davis Cup matches this season, but had played his part last year, putting together a 5-1 singles record.

“It is a very good draw. We have a fair chance to qualify for the World Group” said the captain of the Indian team, S.P. Misra. India’s best player, the 140th-ranked Somdev Devvarman said that it was tough to play South Africa in its backyard. — Special Correspondent

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