TSA confirms Soweto Open off
Johannesburg - Tennis South Africa confirm that the 2014 Soweto Open has been cancelled for April 2014.
Securing funding through grants and sponsorship to successfully host the tournament have not been possible despite a gallant effort by Tennis South Africa. Efforts in this regard began early 2013.
Tennis South Africa however, are still hoping to secure a sponsorship to host the Soweto Open this year.
Sport and Recreation South Africa assisted Tennis South Africa in funding the successful 2013 Soweto Open after the City of Joburg withdrew their support to the tournament after hosting/sponsoring it for a three year period (2009-2011). In 2012 the Soweto Open was taken off the international calendar due to no sponsorship.
The Minister of Sport and his Director General said that Sport and Recreation South Africa were engaging with corporate South Africa to partner Tennis South Africa in securing sustainable funding for the future of the Soweto Open but had not been successful in doing so to date. Tennis South Africa have appreciated the support given by the Department of Sports and Recreations Minister, Deputy Minister and Director General to the game over the years. Tennis South Africa also understands the importance of making every effort as the national tennis federation to market, promote, develop and negotiate sponsorship and funding for the game and not rely on government in this regard.
The ATP, WTA and ITF - the international tennis bodies who control the professional men’s and women’s tour require a 6 month notice on a date and venue for any internationally sanctioned event. In November of 2013 funding for a 2014 Soweto Open for the proposed date in April this year had not been secured and as such Tennis South Africa could not confirm the April 2014 date for the event.
Should a suitable sponsor be found in the next four months to host a Soweto Open in 2014, Tennis South Africa reserve the rights to once again host the tournament subject to the ATP, WTA and ITF confirming a date on the international calendar.