South African tennis star Rik De Voest will achieve a notable milestone when he turns out in the Davis Cup against Lithuania at the Irene Country Club in Centurion from 4 to 6 April.
“Every time you represent your country is special, but this tie will be extra special,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This tie against Lithuania will be additionally unique and memorable for me as it will be my 20th official tie for South Africa.”
For reaching that milestone, De Voest will receive a prestigious Davis Cup commitment award from the International Tennis Federation. Only three other players from South Africa have previously been eligible for the award: Frew McMillian, with 28 ties over 11 years; Wayne Ferreira, with 25 ties over 13 years; and Cliff Drysdale, with 24 ties over 7 years.
De Voest started playing tennis at the age of six and devoted himself to the game from the age of 14. Ironically, his introduction to tennis was at the Irene Country Club.
“I am looking forward to the upcoming tie and celebrating the special occasion at Irene Country Club, which was instrumental in my upbringing,” De Voest said.
Davis Cup record
He made made his Davis Cup debut in 2002 at the Groenkloof Stadium in Pretoria against Hungary. Since then, in the 19 ties, De Voest has played 44 matches, winning 26 of them.
Presently ranked 186 in singles and 368 in doubles, De Voest achieved a career high singles ranking of 110 in August 2006, while his highest doubles ranking of 39 was reached in April 2009.
De Voest has won two ATP doubles titles, with Ashley Fisher in Beijing in 2007 and with Dmitry Tursanov in Dubai in 2009. In 2009, De Voest and Fisher finished as runners-up in the SA Open at Montecasino in Johannesburg.
On the Challenger circuit, the South African Davis Cup stalwart has won 37 doubles titles, which is a record for the circuit.
Earlier this month, De Voest’s Canadian wife Carolyn gave birth to their first born, a baby boy named Morgan in Vancouver, Canada. “It is really hard for me to leave my new born son and normally I would not. However, this tie against Lithuania has significant importance for me on both a personal and professional level,” De Voest commented.
He also said representing South Africa in Davis Cup over the past 12 years is his greatest sporting achievement. “I look forward as always to representing South Africa again, and hope to do the team and country proud. Each and every time I put on the green and gold it’s an incredibly humbling and proud feeling.”