Olympics: Tennis role for SA
Johannesburg - Despite South Africa having no tennis players in action at the Wimbledon Courts during the London Olympic Games, the country will be well represented on court but by top officials rather than players.
Tennis South Africa (TSA) on Thursday announced that three of its officials, namely Iain Smith, Pieter Hoeksma and Mxolisi Matyolo had been selected by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to do duty during this year’s Olympics and Paralympics.
Iain Smith, from Centurion in Pretoria, is Africa’s highest qualified official and has been with Tennis South Africa as officiating manager since 1995. Smith will be the Review Official responsible for overseeing the important Hawkeye (third umpire) at the Olympics and will be an assistant referee at the Paralympics. Smith is one of only 52 officials worldwide who has a gold badge in officiating and has as a result done duty at all the Grand Slams and was referee of the ATP SA Open for the three years it was held at Montecasino.
Pieter Hoeksma, also from Pretoria, will be a line umpire at the Olympics and Katlegong resident, Mxolisi Matyolo, will be working on the lines at the Paralympics.
Hoeksma has a wealth of experience under his belt having officiated at Wimbledon, the Australian Open, Commonwealth Games and last years All African Games. Matyolo made his international debut outside the country in 2009 as an official when he was invited by the ATP to do lines at the ATP World Finals. Like Hoeksma, Matyolo has also officiated at the Commonwealth and All African Games.
“This is a great honour for our country” said Smith. “The ITF and world recognise the quality of our officiating which is a result of good training and sound and solid structures. TSA have a professionally structured officiating programme involving over 316 officials which is producing great results.”