South Africa claimed a 4-1 victory in their Euro-Africa Group II tie to advance the second round, and a step closer to promotion to the next tier.
South Africa’s No 1 player Lloyd Harris wrapped up his rubber against Mattias Siimar 7-5, 6-3 in the first match of the day.
It was not quite the walkover Harris expected as Siimar, dwarfed by the tall and lanky South African, put up a fight in the opening set.
Harris only had himself to blame for allowing the Estonian some breathing space by failing to convert nine break points.
He got the breakthrough in the 10th game before earning easier passage in the second set after breaking Siimar in the fourth.
Celebrating his 26th birthday, South Africa’s No 2 player Nik Scholtz had a tougher time on court bowing the knee 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 against Vladimir Ivanov.
“Overall looking back at the weekend I think our guys performed really well, I don’t think there is much to critique over there and that is what we wanted going in,” Ondruska said.
“We always knew it was going to be tough, their No 2 played really well today, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made only a handful of unforced errors in the whole match.”
This was the first time Ondruska and Scholtz worked together with the weekend giving the Davis Cup captain an opportunity to see what his No 2 player had to offer.
“Nik himself is happy with what he brought to the table over the weekend, it is our first tie together so we are getting to know each other,” Ondruska said.
“I am confident the next tie we are going to be better than it was here too. We’ve been really successful up here for the most part, we’ve beaten some very strong teams.”
South Africa will face the winner of Monaco and Slovenia in April which could be hosted here should the latter win the tie.
Ondruska, who was appointed Davis Cup captain in 2015 has now overseen victories over Luxembourg and Estonia while losing away to Lithuania in last year’s second round.
This week he brought in close friend and former world top-10 player Wayne Ferreira as a consultant for this tie.