ASHDOD, March 5, 2022 (Tennis SA Press Release)
South Africa will compete in the Davis Cup by Rakuten World Group II again this season after falling in a 3-1 defeat to Israel in their World Group I promotion playoff on Saturday.
Going into the second day level at 1-1, after Lloyd Harris had beaten Daniel Cukierman and Ruan Roelofse lost to Yshai Oliel in the opening singles matches on Friday, the SA team were stunned by a gutsy performance from the home nation at the Toto Hakiriya Ashdod Arena.
In the doubles contest, Harris and Raven Klaasen were handed a shock defeat by Cukierman and Jonathan Erlich, who fought hard for a 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3 win.
“This was a very hard loss to swallow. We were outplayed in the doubles, but I thought we were the better team. We had more break points in the second and third sets, and they had one,” said SA captain Christo van Rensburg.
“But that’s doubles. Sometimes it goes your way, and this time it didn’t go our way.”
Closing out the result, in the reverse singles, Harris went down to Oliel who earned a 6-3 6-4 victory to secure promotion to Group I for the Israeli team.
“After a while we were just in disbelief at the shots the guy was hitting against Lloyd, and how close he was hitting some of them down the lines,” Van Rensburg said.
“Israel played well – they played better than us – and unfortunately, it wasn’t our day.
“We need to take this and regroup, but we’ll keep our heads held high and look towards the future and learn from this.”
🇮🇱 beat 🇿🇦 3⃣-1⃣ ☹️
The loss puts South Africa back into World Group II while Israel will compete in World Group I in September.
— Tennis South Africa (@TennisSA) March 5, 2022