'Futures' paints a bleak Davis Cup picture
A bleak picture emerged for South Africa's Davis Cup hopes from the last week's third-tier Futures tournament at the Potchefstroom University.
Amiable Frenchman Simon Cauvard, ranked a modest 689th in the world, demolished the main South African challenge in the event by beating Davis Cup squad members Ruan Roelofse, Nicola Scholz and Rik De Voest in turn before annexing the men's singles title in the final against the seasoned De Voest by a 6-3 6-4 margin.
Despite his lowly 61st ranking in France, Cauvard accounted for the three South Africans who are considered to be among the top seven in the country without as much as dropping a set.
Third-ranked South African De Voest, however, believed that competing in the Futures tournament, which is designed mainly for players well below his 279th ATP ranking and in which he does not normally compete, provided valuable match practice before what would effectively be a comeback campaign in 2013.
"I had some very competitive matches en route to the final," said De Voest.
De Voest, who had battled frustratingly to break the ATP's 100th ranking barrier for several years while occupying the No 2 position in South Africa behind Kevin Anderson, went through a downward spiral this year, to his current 279th position.
He would not compete in the second consecutive Futures tournament in Potchefstroom this week and flew back to Canada.
Meanwhile, Tennis South Africa officials praised De Voest for entering the Futures tournament, inserting interest into the event and proving his commitment to South African tennis.