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Croatia up next for SA

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Thursday July 14, 2011

Next up for our Davis Cup tennis squad is a home clash with Croatia on 16-18 September.

This after the team had successfully beaten Netherlands 3-1 in Potchefstroom at the weekend. The draw for the World Group play-offs was made in London on Wednesday, at the International Tennis Federation’s headquarters.

National captain John Laffnie De Jager said the draw against Croatia was a favorable one. “At this stage every country is tough and promises to field its best possible team to have the best possible chance of being part of the World Group in 2012.

“Croatia are a challenge and they won the title only six years ago, but, with us playing at home we have the advantage and with Kevin Anderson indicating his availability we should be at full strength so we certainly are in with a big chance.”

The venue for the tie has still be made and must be done before August 2.

The winning nations in the World Group play-offs qualify for the 2012 World Group, while the losing nations will compete in their respective Zone Group I competitions in 2012. This will be the first meeting between South Africa and Croatia.

Croatia boast two players in the top 100 of the world in Marin Cilic (32) and Ivan Dodig (42). The lanky Ivo Karlovic (129) is also part of the Croatian squad.

In their last tie Croatia slipped to a narrow 3-2 defeat at the hands of Germany in the World Group first round in Zagreb.

It was in 2005 that Croatia became the first unseeded nation to win the Davis Cup title, when they beat Slovakia 3-2 in the 2005 Final in Bratislava. Prior to 1992, Croatian players represented Yugoslavia

Seeds for the draw were based on the latest ITF Davis Cup Nations Ranking of 11 July

The draw is as follows (nations with choice of ground are listed first, s denotes seeded nation, * denotes choice of ground determined by lot):

2011 World Group play-offs

Romania v Czech Republic (s)
Russia (s) (*) v Brazil
Israel (s) (*) v Canada
South Africa (*) v Croatia (s)
Chile (s) v Italy
Japan v India (s)
Belgium v Austria (s)
Australia v Switzerland (s)

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