Anderson moves up rankings

2010-04-06 20:53

Johannesburg - It was a case of rubbing salt into South Africa's Davis Cup wounds as Kevin Anderson moved up six places in the world rankings this week after the country's top tennis player had declared himself unavailable for the critical Euro-Africa Group One tie against Finland next month.

Anderson has improved his ranking from 114th to 108th and is now closing in on his best-ever international standing, but this will be scant comfort for South Africa's Davis Cup prospects at the Groenkloof Stadium in Pretoria from May 7 to 9 - particularly with Finland's number one, Jarkko Nieminen, continuing to regain his best form after a lengthy spell in which he was hampered by injuries.

More comforting from the latest rankings is the striking improvement of Rik De Voest, who in the absence of Anderson will continue in his role as South Africa's number one in the Davis Cup. De Voest, who at one stage had been ranked in the low 100s, had plummeted to a disquieting 301st place. But a timely success in an ATP Challenger tournament in Canada last week has resulted in De Voest boomeranging back to 206th position.

Meantime, widespread criticsm has greeted Anderson's decision to renage on playing in the Finland tie - with none more vocal than former Davis Cup star Abe Segal, who in 1961 participated in one of the two matches in which South Africa have beaten Finland.

"This is something I simply can't understand," said Segal. "In my time we would have given an arm and a leg to represent South Africa. Now we get a guy who says it is more important to go off and participate in some nondescript tournamewnt in the bundu.

"The kids are crying out for a South African tennis hero," added Segal, who recently demonstrated his penchant for not pulling punches in an entertaining book titled "Hey Big Boy"

"What kind of hero is this who refuses to represent his country? "And", concluded Segal, "Anderson is only damaging his own prospects of making the big-time. Surely helping South Africa regain a place in the elite Davis Cup World Group would be a lot more beneficial to him than picking up a couple of points in Timbuktu."


  • bulawayo-based-bok - 2010-04-06 21:26

    tennis should be bigger than it is in SA!!!......does anyone know if Transformation is the reason for this? it wouldn't surprise me if it was!

  • Greg - 2010-04-07 08:12

    Very disappointing to not have Anderson in the team. Strikes me as being a very self scented, unpatriotic guy. Wayne F took a lot of flak from the SA public, but wow, he was a gret DAvis Cup player for SA and kept us in the elite group for along time. A real soldier.

  • FrankenFurter - 2010-04-07 10:54

    Kevin owes SA nothing. He has received no support from SA .He is USA based , funded by his parents. Hours of work on the tennis courts hitting balls with his dad in earlier years.He has spent more time out of SA than in it from his late teens. In my books , he is doing just fine.

  • Martin - 2010-04-07 17:00

    'Kevin owes SA nothing' - quite true but why does it have to be about owing something to someone. It should really be about giving back unselfishly without regard to what has happened or who funded him or whatever. Personally I understand where Kevin is coming from though. He is doing well this year and hopefully when he has got to where we wants to be, he will return to the Davis cup team.

  • Michael - 2010-04-07 17:00

    @ bulaway-based-bok No it is not and neither should it be an automatic assumption. Management of tennis in SA has always been crap. I am afraid that I am talking from family and personal experience, early 1980s onwards.

  • steve - 2010-04-07 17:57

    Anderson has to make a living and that is the reality. SA tennis pays nothing for him. Without gaining more points he risks having to spend the rest of his life qualifying for tournaments in the buntu.

  • Wayne - 2010-04-07 22:44

    No excuse. One week out of his schedule for his country is nothing and will have no financial bearing on his life. he should def be playing for SDA. Just like Rik and the boys. WAyne F was such a stalwart for SA tennis. Shows this chap up, in a big way

  • BC - 2010-04-08 09:16

    Proffessional sport is all about money, not national loyalty. Kevin does not live in SA or work in SA and is only a S. African through an accident of birth. He,s living and working in the environment that favours him the most, just like the rest of us aspire to do. So let him be and lets move on.

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