French Open

Renewed effort to 'get Kevin'

2015-05-22 18:43
Kevin Anderson (AFP)

Cape Town - Tennis South Africa president and acting CEO Gavin Crookes is off to next week's French Open at Roland Garros hoping to persuade  the world's 16-ranked Kevin Anderson to end a self-imposed exile of more than three years from Davis Cup competition.

South Africa are due to play Ireland in a critical Davis Cup tie at the Irene Country Club on the outskirts of Pretoria in early July and Anderson's presence could be critical in avoiding relegation to what would effectively be the fourth tier of the competition.

"I'll be in Paris on ITF business and to watch the tennis," said Crookes. "But I will also be having discussions with Kevin and his management and by the time I return to South Africa in early June. I should have an answer on his Davis Cup availability."

Crookes has an ace up his sleeve this time. In line with an ITF ruling, Anderson will have to play in the tie against Ireland - and a further Davis Cup  match next year - in order to be eligible to compete in next year's Olympic Games in Brazil.

In a nutshell, South Africa would be firm favourites to overcome the modest Irish with Anderson in the squad. But without him the tie could hang in the balance, with Ireland's top two players ranked higher than second-best South African Tucker Vorster (364th) and Fritz Wolmarans, who currently occupies a 430th world ranking position.

Against the positive aspects for Anderson's Davis Cup return is the fact that the Ireland tie comes immediately after the Wimbledon championships and this could influence an ultimate decision.

Also the ongoing financial issue with a TSA organisation who are not endowed with great wealth could again be a factor for the 6ft 8in big server.

"Obviously we would love to have  Kevin in the squad," says Crookes.

"But I'm not jumping the gun. Let's just wait and see."

Meanwhile, Anderson was on Friday drawn to play 72nd-ranked American Tim Smyczek in the first round of the French Open in which he will be competing to preserve the substantial ATP ranking points he gained while reaching the fourth round at Roland Garros last year.

Read more on:    french open  |  kevin anderson  |  tennis
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