Anderson hits back at critics

2012-09-23 16:11

Johannesburg - South Africa's top-ranked player, Kevin Anderson, has again defended his stance regarding his unavailability for the Davis Cup World Group playoff against Canada last week.

Anderson posted an e-mail from Davis Cup captain John-Laffnie de Jager in his blog on Saturday, as alleged proof, repeating his earlier statement that he had given Tennis South Africa (TSA) more than two months notice of his unavailability.

Earlier in the week, TSA chief executive Ian Smith said De Jager had kept negotiations open until a month before the tie, in the hope they could meet Anderson's financial demands.

"My last date of e-mail correspondence, or otherwise, with JL (De Jager) was June 30th, 2012, where he acknowledged my unavailability to play," Anderson wrote at the weekend.

"There has simply been no further discussion of the matter since Wimbledon, and I left England the 2nd of July this year."

Smith said on Tuesday the federation had been "disappointed" to discover that Anderson was playing for the Sacramento Capitals in the World Team Tennis finals while South Africa were struggling to a 4-1 defeat against Canada. The tennis body had been under the impression that Anderson had a knee injury.

Anderson had already defended his unavailability on the eve of the tie, stating in his blog that fear of injury and loss of income had contributed to his absence.

Smith said Anderson had asked for what the federation considered "a little too much money" to turn out in the playoff.

While Anderson said he understood TSA's financial constraints, he needed to consider his career on the ATP circuit in an effort to improve his world ranking.

"I have complete respect for the financial situation of TSA, and appreciate that at the end of the day they are operating a business and need to make decisions that promote their financial viability," he wrote.

"All I ask in return is the same level of respect and acknowledgement that my professional tennis career is also business, and I too have to make decisions about my competitive schedule accordingly."

Smith and Anderson agreed that there were no bitter feelings between the player and the federation.

"I believe Ian and I have a mutual level of understanding and respect for each other's situation and that there is absolutely no animosity or resentment between myself and TSA regarding the difficult decisions we have both had to make," Anderson wrote.

Smith said the SA No 1 would continue to be considered for Davis Cup selection.

"Going forward we wish Kevin well and we hope he will play for us in future, Smith said.

"We don't have anything against him and we would love for him to play Davis Cup."

Anderson said he would not comment further on the matter.


  • hamish.drake1 - 2012-09-23 17:41

    "Anderson the Mercenary". It is either an honour to play for your country and you do so for free. Or you stay on the ATP making money. Davis Cup constitues very few weeks in the year, but you chose to make money. It is your choice, but I would not want some mercenary b!tch representing me or my country anyway.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-09-23 18:05

      Well then don't support the Boks, the Proteas or Bafana Bafana.

  • tsyfert - 2012-09-23 18:43

    Play for free, you must be joking. South African tennis needs much more national support its falling apart.

  • colingkearns - 2012-09-23 21:07

    Who plays for free, are you out of your mind. The official get well taken care of but the players must do it for their country". Not in this day and age, his Tennis lifespan is limited and he also needs to improve his ranking. Same reasons we dont work for free for our bosses or businesses.

      chez.kri - 2012-09-24 10:21

      @HeyJoe. ja, its like asking a regular working person (like me) to wrok for free over Decemebr coz its xmas. And i pay mr bills how? why teh hell should he have to do that?

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