Skip to main content

Tennis | Van Rensburg unveils four-man SA team for Davis Cup Playoff

Van Rensburg unveils four man SA team for Davis Cup Playoff

Experienced player Philip Henning and in-form compatriot Kris van Wyk will spearhead a four-member South African squad in the crunch Davis Cup playoff fixture against Vietnam next week.

National captain Christo van Rensburg has announced a young team for the World Group II playoff to be contested in Tu Son, Vietnam on 2 and 3 February, again giving teenage players opportunities at senior level as he continues to build a squad with long-term aspirations.

Henning is the most experienced player in the team, having competed in eight ties, which is more than all his teammates combined. But the 23-year-old player boasts a strong enough record to be confident of fulfilling his senior role, having won seven of 10 matches in the global team competition since making his debut in 2018.

He will also be well supported by Kris van Wyk, who is among the top 500 in the ATP singles and doubles world rankings, and Christiaan Worst, who has four Davis Cup ties under his belt and has been pencilled in for the doubles rubber.

In addition, the SA squad includes 17-year-old Leo Matthysen, who will play his third tie if he is selected for the final team.  James Hart (also 17), who won the U-18 boys title at the 2023 Junior Masters Championships in Cape Town, will travel with the team as a hitting partner.

"As the national team, we are looking forward, as always, to performing to the best of our abilities," Van Rensburg said.

"Unfortunately, we are not playing at home but I hope South Africa will be behind us. We are going to go out and play as well as we can in Vietnam as we aim to climb towards the top division."

The SA team qualified for the Davis Cup World Group II playoffs by sweeping to a 3-0 victory over Zimbabwe in the final of the Davis Cup Africa Group III tournament held in Pretoria in August 2023.

Vietnam, 12 places below South Africa in the Davis Cup rankings, beat Jordan 2-1 at the Asia/Oceania Group III tournament in Colombo last year to book their spot in the promotion playoffs.

The winner of the tie between SA and Vietnam, to be played outdoors on hardcourt at Hanaka Paris Ocean Park, will progress to the World Group II competition this year, while the losing side will return to Group III.

SA team (singles/doubles ranking)

  • Kris van Wyk (422/372)
  • Philip Henning (754/1107)
  • Christiaan Worst (N/A / N/A)
  • Leo Matthysen (160 ITF junior combined)
  • Christo van Rensburg – team captain
  • Khulekani Ngcobo – team physiotherapist

Tennis, davis cup, 2024

  • Hits: 134