Estonia tennis team loses key player Zopp in the opening Davis Cup tie against SA

03 February 2017 - 15:10 By David Isaacson

Estonia suffered a major blow when their top player Jurgen Zopp was forced to retire hurt in the opening match of the Europe/Africa Group II Davis Cup tie in Pretoria on Friday.

Nik Scholtz of South Africa in action against Jurgen Zopp of Estonia during the opening singles of the Davis Cup tie between South Africa and Estonia at the Irene Country Club on February 03, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa. File photo
Nik Scholtz of South Africa in action against Jurgen Zopp of Estonia during the opening singles of the Davis Cup tie between South Africa and Estonia at the Irene Country Club on February 03, 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa. File photo
Image: Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images

After dominating Nik Scholtz with his forehand to win the first set 6-4‚ Zopp lost the next two sets 4-6 3-6 before quitting at the start of the fourth after receiving medical attention.

Zopp was suffering from abdominal muscle strain‚ which was particularly painful while serving.

He could not say if he would play again in the tie.

  • SA not losing sleep‚ apart from Scholtz‚ over higher-ranked Estonians for Davis Cup tieIf the South Africans were feeling pressure ahead of the Davis Cup tie against Estonia that starts in Pretoria on Friday morning‚ they were hiding it well on Thursday. 

“The serve is the most important shot in these conditions‚” said Zopp who‚ at 317 in the world‚ was 200 ranking points above Scholtz and was central to Estonia’s chances here.

“I was feeling it for quite some time‚ but hoping the adrenaline would get me through. I feel so bad for my team‚ I feel like I let them down.”

  • Davis Cup draw - SA's Scholtz meets Estonia ace Zopp in first gameSouth Africa’s No.2 singles player Nik Scholtz will kick off the Europe/Africa Group II tie against Estonia in Pretoria on Friday morning.  

Scholtz had survived some scares in the third set‚ saving a break point in the first game and then three in the fifth before breaking Zopp in the eighth.

SA's No.1 player‚ Lloyd Harris‚ is facing Vladimir Ivanov in the second singles match of the day.

  - TMG Digital