SA tennis legends rue sad day

2012-05-15 17:30
Tennis SA (File)

Johannesburg - Former South African Davis Cup stalwarts and Wimbledon doubles semi-finalists Abe Segal and Gordon Forbes have described the decision of Tennis SA (TSA) to surrender the right to stage the Davis Cup World Group playoff against Canada as a sad day for SA sport.

"I don't think too many of the 185 member nations of the International Tennis Federation, let alone a country with a proven history in the sport like South Africa, would have made a decision like this," Segal said on Tuesday.

"Imagine Arsenal being drawn at home in a soccer cup tie against Manchester United and then requesting the match be staged at Old Trafford."

Forbes, who filled the post of president of the SA Tennis Association at one stage, said he sympathised with the TSA administration "because I had personal experience of how difficult it has become to secure sponsorship for tennis in the country, and I'm sure they did their best."

TSA waived the right to host the world-class Milos Raonic and his Canadian team-mates, citing the inability to secure the required sponsorship of approximately R1.5 million.

"We tried everyone - the government, the private sector, the TV companies and affluent individuals who we hoped would be sympathetic," said TSA president Bongani Zonde.

"But no money was forthcoming."

Segal said it was laughable that a country like South Africa could not raise the relatively modest amount to stage an event with the long-term potential benefits which could emerge from staging a World Group playoff.

"South Africa was a force in world tennis in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s and the sport was thriving in the country," Segal said.

"We attracted the best players in the world to the country, instead of turning them away."

Ian Smith, the TSA chief executive, said it was not a case of the organisation being bankrupt.

"But our funds are strictly limited and we had to weigh up whether it was worth spending more money on the Davis Cup at the expense of development projects and such-like," Smith said.

Read more on:    davis cup  |  tennis


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring


Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!


Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.