News24

Anderson's price too high: TSA

2012-09-18 18:55

Johannesburg - While Tennis South Africa (TSA) hopes to draft Kevin Anderson back into the Davis Cup team, the federation insists the country's top-ranked player will need to ease up on his demands.

Anderson made himself unavailable for last week's World Group playoff against Canada in Montreal, and the South Africans failed in their bid to qualify for the top tier of the global team competition for the fourth year in succession.

Ian Smith, the TSA chief executive, said on Tuesday that if Anderson was to play in the Davis Cup again, he would need to understand the financial constraints faced by the federation.

"It depends on his demands," Smith said.

"Other players are playing (Davis Cup) for nothing, and though we appreciate what he has done for SA tennis, Kevin needs to understand where SA sport in general stands with regards to funding and sponsorship."

Smith said TSA, which rescinded home ground advantage against Canada due to a lack of finances, shared payments between Davis Cup players, but Anderson had received a significant amount more than the rest of the team members when he had turned out in last year's competition.

"We have always tried to get Kevin to play Davis Cup," Smith said.

"Last year we paid him a sizable amount of money to play two ties.

"Each time we play a Davis Cup tie overseas we cover flights and accommodation, and we also have a full-time physiotherapist with the team.

"Last year, when Kevin was injured in Potchefstroom, we still paid him.

"This year he asked for what we considered a little too much money."

Anderson defended his Davis Cup withdrawal last week, stating on his blog that fear of injury and loss of income had contributed to his absence from the tie.

While South Africa were struggling to a 4-1 defeat against Canada, Anderson was playing for the Sacramento Capitals in the World Team Tennis competition.

And while Anderson stated in his blog that he had made himself unavailable for the Davis Cup months earlier, Smith said SA captain John-Laffnie de Jager had kept negotiations open until a month before the tie, in the hope they could meet Anderson's financial demands.

Anderson had initially told TSA he was unavailable due to a knee injury.

"He did say he was injured and we accepted that," Smith said.

"We wished him well and hoped he would be able to get ready for tournaments he was scheduled to play after the Davis Cup.

"We were disappointed to find out he was playing in the World Team Tennis finals."

Smith believed no other previous South African player, including former world No 6 Wayne Ferreira, had made financial ultimatums for Davis Cup availability, and he hoped Anderson would be able to represent the country in future.

"Players have never made demands on us," Smith said.

"Going back, although it was before my time, I don't think even Wayne Ferreira made financial demands.

"But going forward we wish Kevin well and we hope he will play for us in future.

"We don't have anything against him and we would love for him to play Davis Cup.

"We will talk to him about the way forward."

SAPA

Comments
  • brian.m.roberts.5 - 2012-09-18 19:37

    Who gives a toss about Kevin Anderson. He didn't play in the olympics and now he wants money to play Davis Cup. He is an arbitrary journeyman who thinks he is bigger than the game. Greats like Federer, Murray, Djokovic and Nadal play for their countries. We have multi major winning golfers, surfers, swimmers and the like who make this country proud. I cannot ever remember a male tennis player making us proud and Anderson is no different. As I said, an arrogant toss who will never win a major.

      pagel.trivia - 2012-09-18 22:14

      Johan Kriek - won the Australian open twice, quite a few other titles in singles and doubles. Kevin Curren won four grand slam doubles titles and defeated Edberg, McEnroe and Wilander at wimbledon. Wayne Ferreira was in top ten in the world for a while, won Queens and a few other ATP titles as well as silver at Olympics in doubles. It's not in the greats league, but if you cannot appreciate these accomplishments you have never competed in sports at any significant level.

      mahomedrafeek.goolam - 2012-09-18 23:35

      Johan Kriek and Kevin Curren were two great tennis players who kept the SA flag flying high in most major tournments.Remember Roger Federer is Swiss but his mother is South African,so ja one day is one day,we will have a No.1 player.

  • frankylouw - 2012-09-18 19:37

    Scr3w him! He's not a south African as far as I'm concerned.

  • Christopher Zoony De Croes - 2012-09-18 19:44

    just a small timer in the big leagues , will never win anything significant, and neither will sa because of no funding ect hope for a prodigy one day in the future

  • snot.gurgle.3 - 2012-09-18 20:06

    Always 2 sides to a story.

      taryn.gavin - 2012-09-18 20:15

      And Kevin's side is exactly the same... this is his personal blog post saying pretty much money is the reason he "chose" to not play in the Davis Cup for SA http://kevinandersontennis.blogspot.com/

      pagel.trivia - 2012-09-19 07:34

      @Taryn: Have you even read it? What he did not mention is that TSA could not raise R1.5 million in order to play the tie in SA, giving up home ground advantage. If that is how serious TSA is about tennis in SA I can understand his reluctance (3 x 5 sets matches in 2/3 days does carry an injury risk without any insurance). Tennis in SA has some way to go - pre '95 springboks was supposed to play for honor - now it is all about money and nobody raise an eyebrow. The cricket guys get huge bucks for playing IPL - nobody raises an eyebrow. Why shouldn't tennis players that are good be rewarded?

  • bennievanderwesthuizen - 2012-09-18 20:07

    Hope JL never ever even consider picking this man again - he think he is world number one the way he sets demands and then even the big guns play for free in davis cup and olympics

  • Craig - 2012-09-18 21:09

    Anderson who????

  • Joe - 2012-09-18 21:29

    greedy w@nker, he's useless anyway.Where does this guy get off making demands??

  • Theuns Jacobs - 2012-09-18 22:08

    sounds to me that all kevin's are problem kevin's..!!!

  • nkambazyofaninikuphelidakwa.chiliza - 2012-09-18 22:22

    let him go even the top rank players do play for their countries without demanding big bugs the likes of murray, djokovic, nadal, en roger, u don,t even come close to ths guys.MR smith plz buy him 1 way ticket 2 overseas.

  • conrad.johannes - 2012-09-19 09:52

    I'm dissapointed...what an honour to turn down...

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