Doubles veteran Leander Paes’ absence notwithstanding, the Davis Cup clash between India and South Africa this weekend will be “pretty even”, South African coach John-Laffnie de Jager said today.

“I foresee a very even contest which could be decided by a single match,” De Jager told ‘The Beeld’ here.

“I believe though that the Indians will be very nervous, because they know that they can beat us,” De Jager.

Paes, who clinched his 10th Grand Slam title at the U S Open last week, will not participate in World Group play-off, scheduled from this Friday to Sunday, because of a right shoulder.

Indian captain SP Misra told ‘Beeld’ he was still expecting Paes to arrive here, while the other doubles specialist Mahesh Bhupathi is expected to land on Thursday morning.

There has also been concern in some circles that the Indian side will not have enough time to acclimatise to the conditions air before the match on Saturday.

But Misra said singles players Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna have had no problem so far and their training was going very well.

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