SA women's tennis gets backing

2015-01-28 18:43
Tennis (File)

Johannesburg - Tennis SA president and acting CEO Gavin Crookes has given his reassurance to women's tennis, saying it has the full backing of the federation.

"Our commitment to the development of women's tennis at this point is unquestionable. We give the women's game our full support," Crookes said in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"We know that we have a lot talent in the country. The Fed Cup team is an example of that. We are fully behind them as they prepare for the competition."

The South African team had been bolstered by the return to the competition of the number-one ranked female player in the country, Chani Scheepers.

The rest of the team was made up of Chanel Simmonds, Ilze Hattingh and Michelle Sammons, who were set to compete at the Fed Cup from February 4-7 in Estonia.

In their group they are up against the hosts Bosnia-Herzegovina, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Slovenia and Egypt.

Fed Cup and Davis Cup coach Earl Grainger was pleased with the commitment shown by TSA to the women's game.

"The backing for women's tennis is growing. We saw that last year and now again as it's important to grow the talent," Grainger said.

"Actions speak louder than words and so far we are happy with the response we received."

Grainger said he coaxed Scheepers into making her return after a 10-year absence when he had a chat with her last year.

"We've sorted out what she needs from us and she was available after I approached her very early. She has always wanted to play, it's just that she was unavailable.

"It's huge for us to have her come back. It's a great motivation for the players to know that they will be playing with Chani. It means a lot for South African tennis and it makes us optimistic for the future."

Having recently been named the Davis Cup coach as well, after the resignation of John-Laffnie de Jager, Grainger said he was looking forward to the challenge.

Read more on:    tennis

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