News24

Double blow for SA tennis

2012-03-18 18:53

Johannesburg - South African tennis received a double blow on Sunday when the country's top men's and women's players, Kevin Anderson and Chani Scheepers, made themselves unavailable for vital upcoming Davis Cup and Fed Cup matches.

The disquitening news released by John-Laffnie de Jager, captain of the country's men's and women's teams, has the further deflating prospect of South Africa not being represented in the tennis segment of this year's London Olympic Games at the renowned Wimbledon venue.

In keeping with Internaional Tennis Federation rules, Anderson and Scheepers needed to play in the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions this year to be eligible to participate at the Games.

"We must soldier on without Kevin and Chani in next month's Euro-Africa Group One Davis Cup tie against Slovenia [at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Soweto] and the Fed Cup Euro-Africa Group Two playoffs in Egypt," De Jager said.

There was no doubt the withdrawal of the two top players had greatly reduced the prospect of victories that are vital for the future development of SA tennis.

De Jager said he would rather not comment on the decisions of Anderson and Scheepers.

The SA captain said he would have to radically re-evaluate the composition of both the Davis Cup and Fed Cup squads in view of the unavailability of both players.

It now seems certain that the success of the Davis Cup team to face Slovenia will be entrusted on perennial stalwarts Rik De Voest and Izak van der Merwe for the singles matches, with the doubles pairing up in the air without Anderson.

South Africa must beat Slovenia in order to make a fourth successive attempt to regain a place in the Davis Cup World Group after an absence of more than a decade.

With Anderson, South Africa would have appeared strong favourites.

Without him the SA and Slovenian squads appear reasonably well-matched, with only home-court advantage tipping the scales somewhat towards the hosts.

De Jager had delayed the selections of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup squads in the hope of Anderson and Scheepers coming to the party.

"Now we have to put Plan B into force with little time to spare, and it is something of a rush job," he said.

SAPA

Comments
  • David - 2012-03-18 20:41

    Bloody pathetic

  • reinard.ludick - 2012-03-18 22:42

    Don't blame them at all for not playing! What has SA Tennis done for them? NOTHING!

      Ignatius - 2012-03-19 06:38

      Presies. Hulle het geen of byna geen hulp ontvang van die tennis admin nie.

  • Koos - 2012-03-19 07:34

    Where are the black tennis players? Relying on the whiteys again to do something for da country?

  • Oliver - 2012-03-19 08:49

    There is always another side to the story , I know a pro tennis player from SA , Tennis SA want the player to play for Sa but dont pay them and Tennis SA have done NOTHING for this player . By playing for SA they lose money and Ranking points because they will be missing Tournaments . Their Father is paying for all the bills because they have just not got to the stage of making money to sustain themselves , now SA Tennis want them to go play for them for Nothing !

  • Vic - 2012-03-19 13:56

    What absolute rubbish Oliver, saying "their father is paying their bills"..??!! Firstly they have/had separate fathers, so the plural should apply.!! They are both professional tennis players & earn their money/keep themselves, the same as all other professional sportsmen/women. They ARE pathetic, in that they're NOT prepared to play for their Country----I don't know what makes them think they're SO special.??!! ALL other top players make themselves available for their Countries, in Davis & Fed Cup matches....not every time, but a lot of the time. Federer, Nadal, Sharipova, Djokovic etc etc etc. They can go to hell...f##k them & they must NOT be asked or selected ever again.!! Well, they can't play at Olympics now, so they "shot themselves in the foot", so who cares that we won't have them playing there----it's their loss.!!

      Koos - 2012-03-20 00:54

      They are not asking for anything. Their loss....you must be joking!

      Ignatius - 2012-03-30 22:05

      It happened to both families that they had to pay. Professional rugby players for instance get financial aid from the mother body. I can give you many names of professional players who do not play Davis cup. It is their choice to play or not to play. You probably do not play tennis Kind regards

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