Cape Town - They were known as "The Gay Nineties" but there is little joy for top South African tennis player Kevin Anderson with his world ranking set to plummet from sixth at the start of the year to 92nd when the ATP releases its latest figures next week.
After a year plagued by recurring injuries, in which he played in only five tournaments and missed out on both the French and US Opens, the lanky, 6-ft-8in Anderson, twice a Grand Slam finalist, is due to make a challenging comeback appearance for South Africa along with Lloyd Harris, Raven Klaasen and possibly Ruan Roelofse in the inaugural ATP Team Cup event in Australia in January.
At the age of 33 it would be no mean feat for Anderson to regain his former stature - or anything like it - after missing out on tournament appearances for six months in a calculated procedure to rid himself of his injury problems.
But Anderson himself remains confident he can return to the testing cauldron of the ATP circuit in good shape at what can be termed as the crossroads of his career - and much will depend on his form if South Africa are to make a creditable impact in the ATP Team Cup, particularly in a draw that has designated such tough opponents as Serbia and France.
An encouraging factor for Anderson is the manner in which three-times Grand Slam winner Andy Murray has now vaulted more than 400 positions in the world rankings from 525th after elbow surgery had looked likely to terminate his career.
Also significant in the ultimate world rankings for 2019 is the rise of Harris, who is well positioned to squeeze into the top 100 and ironically challenge Anderson for the top South African ranking in the New Year.
And, in a wider context, is the almost certain situation whereby the indefatigable Rafael Nadal will reclaim from Novak Djokovic a world No 1 year-end ranking for the fifth time - and one he last enjoyed in 2017.
Interestingly, also, the iconic Roger Federer has withdrawn from the ATP World Team Cup, resulting in Switzerland being deprived of their place among the 24 countries in the event.