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Davis Cup victory for SA

South Africa beat Monaco 3-2 to advance to round two of the Euro/Africa 2 Davis Cup competition.

South Africa beat Monaco 3-2 to advance to round two of the Euro/Africa 2 Davis Cup competition. Picture: sxc.hu.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa have beaten Monaco 3-2 to advance to round two of the Euro/Africa 2 Davis Cup competition.

Rik de Voest the South African number one, salvaged some pride on Sunday when he came out and confidently beat Monaco number one Benjamin Balleret 7-6 (3) 6-2 6-3 at the Irene Country Club outside Pretoria.

It was a very different de Voest that came onto court on Sunday than who did battle on Friday. When de Voest lost the opening rubber on Friday against Romain Arneodo, he struggled with serve and didn't play the big points well.

But on Sunday de Voest was on top of his game and troubled Balleret from start to finish.

"I just felt so motivated and on fire today" said de Voest. "I put up a big fight on Friday but didn't play that well. Today I played well. I was motivated to do well and restore some pride in front of my home crowd fans."

Balleret said that he always knew de Voest was going to be a tough opponent. "We both had lost going into Sunday's rubber so whoever lost on Sunday was going to be loser of the weekend. I didn't want that and nor did Rik and I must give credit to Rik for lifting his game to the level he did. He was far the better player out there."

In the final rubber of the tie, due to the tie already having been decided, Referee Wael Abbas announced that the rubber would be contested over three tie break sets.

Romain Arneodo took the opening set 7-5 against Nik Scholtz when Scholtz threw in the towel due to a persistent hip flexor strain.

South African Captain, John-Laffnie De Jager was delighted with the win. "A win is a win. We are so happy that we could pull off the win against Monaco in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. I must give credit to Monaco for the big fight they put up. But huge applause to the South African lads for pulling off the win. Rik was a very different player on Sunday. Rik was the Rik I am used to and he proved once again to be such a crucial part of our side."

De Jager had huge compliments for the Irene Country Club and crowds. "Irene Country Club is a perfect Davis Cup venue. My team and Monaco have thoroughly enjoyed the stay and warm hospitality and compliments to the Club for being such magnificent hosts. The fans came out in their droves. We had full houses on the weekend and it proves that there are a ton of people out there that are loyal and passionate about tennis and are hungry to see the local stars in action."

South Africa will now face Lithuania at home from 4-6 April 2014. Tennis South Africa will be announcing the venue of the April home tie in the next few weeks.

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