Johannesburg - Tennis South Africa (TSA) on Thursday announced that Earl Grainger has stepped down from his position as Fed Cup captain.
Grainger’s current term as captain finished at the end of the recent Fed Cup event in April, and Grainger, in consultation with TSA, has decided to bring his tenure to an end.
“It was a very difficult decision to make, but I do believe the time is right to step away from the role. The Fed Cup team needs a fresh start as it enters into a long term rebuilding phase. While this year’s results were disappointing, I am proud of my overall efforts as captain. I depart the position on good terms with Tennis South Africa - indeed there is fresh energy and direction at the federation and I am fully intending to remain involved by helping to improve high performance tennis in the country,” Grainger said.
Grainger was appointed as Fed Cup captain in 2014 and in 2015 he also stepped in as interim Davis Cup captain.
Unfortunately 2017 was a difficult year for the SA Fed Cup team, as they were relegated to Europe/Africa Zone Group III, after a challenging tournament in Lithuania in April.
Gavin Crookes, president of TSA commented: “We would like to thank Earl for his dedicated service to TSA - as both Fed Cup captain, as well as interim Davis Cup captain. He has brought a huge amount of passion to his position and has a good track-record at international level.”
Richard Glover, CEO of TSA, commented: “Although we have not worked together long, I have built up a very positive relationship with Earl. He is an asset to tennis and will continue to make a strong contribution to TSA, through his ongoing involvement with our high performance task force.”
Grainger is one of the most high profile and successful tennis coaches in the country. Players who have made their names at his Johannesburg based academy, include Davis Cup members, Dean O'Brien and Ruan Roelofse, as well as Fed Cup players, Chanel Simmonds and Natasha Fourouclas.
TSA will announce the way forward on the Fed Cup in due course.
TSA also recently revealed that it was launching a women’s tennis task force to make recommendations as to how TSA can rebuild the women’s game in the country.
The task force meets for the first time later this month and the mandate and members of the group will be announced in the coming weeks.