Johannesburg - Tennis South Africa (TSA) on Monday
announced that Earl Grainger has agreed to step in and take over as the
provisional Davis Cup Captain.
South Africa is due to play a Euro/Africa
Zone Group 2 tie against Turkey in Mersin from March 6 to 8 and there was
little time available to fill the gap left by the recent resignation of
John-Laffnie de Jager.
Grainger, who is one of the most successful
tennis coaches in the country, was appointed Fed Cup team captain last year and
has already managed to build up a good rapport with all the players, so much
so, that he is the first coach who has been able to bring South Africa’s No 1
player, Chanelle Scheepers, back into
the Fed Cup fold.
Scheepers, after long discussions with
Grainger, has confirmed she will be playing in the upcoming Europe/Africa Group
2 tie in Tallinn, Estonia from February 4 to 7. This will be the first time in
10 years that South Africa will field its strongest team.
Grainger has also managed to secure a
sponsor for the Fed Cup team in KIA Motors South Africa.
As a player Grainger competed against the
likes of Boris Becker, Brad Gilbert, Mike de Palmer, Paul Annacone and Dan
Goldie. He won the US Sectional Indoor doubles title with Annacone, who later
went on to coach some of the best-ever players such as Pete Sampras and Roger
Grainger practised at the prestigious Nick
Bollettieri Academy together with Jimmy Arias, Chip Hooper, Mike de Palmer
Junior and Annacone.
He learned his coaching career under Mike
de Palmer senior who started the Nick Bollettieri Academy.
Players who have made their names at his
Earl Grainger Tennis Academy in Gauteng Central include Davis Cup members Dean
O'Brien and Ruan Roelofse as well as Fed Cup team-mates Chanel Simmonds and
“John-Laffnie has done a great job with the
Davis Cup team over the past nine years and I realise his shoes will be tough
to fill,” said Grainger.
“My role will be to build on what he has
achieved. I was honoured when TSA approached me and I can assure everyone I
will be 100 per cent committed to the task at hand.”
Gavin Crookes, President and acting CEO of
TSA thanked Grainger for his assistance. “We are most grateful that Earl was
prepared to step in at the last minute and work with the Davis Cup team. He has
shown tremendous passion in his role as the Fed Cup captain and I am certain he
will bring the same dedication to his work with the men’s team.
“We wish him every success in his new