Our top-ranked player did the job as South Africa clinched their Euro-Africa Group One clash against the Netherlands in Potchefstroom on Sunday.
It was Kevin Anderson who beat Robin Haase in a tough four-setter 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 to seal the tie, South Africa going out to a 3-1 lead and the two captains then opting to skip the final singles match.
Rik de Voest’s Friday loss to Haase in four sets, was the only match that South Africa lost in the tie. Anderson beat Thomas Schoorel in another four-setter and then teamed up with De Voest to beat Haase and Jesse Huta Galung, also in four sets.
Sapa reports that Anderson managed to control his game against a fiery Haase, who lost his temper on a number of occasions, most notably in the second set which the Dutchman went on to win.
That would be the only set in which Haase would prevail as Anderson reeled in his opponent with his heavy serve and strong backhand.
The first set began with Anderson serving two double faults, but he was still able to hold. In the second game Haase also had problems with his serve and the South African was able to convert as he broke serve with his second break point.
The big-serving Anderson began to dominate on his serve. He kept the pressure on Haase for the rest of the set and took the opener 6-3.
Haase started the second set by losing his opening service game. The No 1 player for the Netherlands came straight back by breaking Anderson in the next game.
The following games went on serve and, in the seventh game, Haase served to love and looked to have the momentum. In the next game the South African was broken again as Haase finally converted his third break point in the game to lead 5-3.
Haase served out the set despite showing signs of frustration on a disputed line call in favour of the home team to take the second set 6-3.
The third set saw four breaks of serve, with Anderson breaking three times and Haase once. Haase’s break came in the first game as Anderson put together his worst service game of the match.
However, Anderson broke in the fourth, sixth and finally the eighth game to take the set 6-2. In the fourth set, Haase managed to compose himself until the fourth game where he lost serve and virtually handed the tie to the home team. He did come close to breaking Anderson in the seventh game, but wasted three break points as Anderson managed to hold.
The South African sealed the tie in the eighth game when nerves finally got the better of Haase as he double-faulted on match point.
Singles (SA names first)
*2 Rik De Voest lost to *1 Robin Haase 7-6(5) 3-6 0-6 4-6ÔÇ¿*1 Kevin Anderson bt *2 Thomas Schoorel 6-7(5) 6-4 7-6(4) 6-1ÔÇ¿*1 Anderson bt *1 Haase 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2ÔÇ¿*2 De Voest v *2 Schoorel ÔÇô not played
Doubles (SA names first)
Anderson/De Voest bt Haase/Huta Galung 6-7 (4) 6-2 6-4 6-4
South Africa 3 Netherlands 1