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Anderson’s Davis Cup threat

There is trouble ahead for South African tennis on the Davis Cup front with reports suggesting that Kevin Anderson, the country’s top-ranked player, is at loggerheads with the national captain, John-Laffnie de Jager, and won’t be available for the important second round Africa/Euro Group tie against Belarus in May.

Anderson, who peaked at 95 in the world last year but who has now slipped to No140 in the latest ATP rankings with a 0-4 record for 2009, had missed the whitewash over Macedonia due to injury, but had previously suggested he wouldn’t be available because of the distance he’d have to travel between the USA and South Africa before the Indian Wells tournament.

De Jager has denied any bad blood between the two, though reports suggest player and captain had a disagreement during the victory over Monaco in Monte Carlo last year.

Whatever the case, the absence of the 2.03m player will severly dent any chance South Africa had of beating Belarus, a far stronger squad than that put out by Macedonia. The likely No1 singles player will again be Rik De Voest, who is capable on his day but who is currently at No183 in the world and has never broken into the top 100.

Izak van der Merwe is likely to be his singles team-mate, providing Anderson sticks to his word and misses the encounter in Soweto.

De Voest won all his matches against Macedonia at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg before flying to the USA for the Indian Wells event, where he was beaten in the first round.

Both Anderson, who won the Sony-Ericsson Masters in Miami last year, and De Voest however failed to even qualify for this year’s event.┬áAnderson went down 6-2 6-3 to little-known Croatian Roko Karanusic in the first qualifying round, and his ATP ranking will drop as he’ll lose the points he gained last year for beating Djokovic.

De Voest fared better while accounting for 97th-ranked Argentinian Leonardo Mayer in the first qualifying round, but he too exited the men’s singles while going down 6-2 6-1 to German Benjamin Becker in the second qualifying round.