Cape Town - Supporters and celebrities will rally around the gutsy Cape
Town pair of Carlos Gomes and Wendy Thompson as they start their bid on Friday
evening at setting a new Guinness World Record for the longest singles tennis
The Constantia Tennis Club pair will attempt to play for 65 hours to raise
funds to improve tennis facilities at the Cape townships of Khayalitsha and
Khayamandi through their charity Grass Roots Tennis.
Celebrities have thrown their weight behind the pair and will play in
invitation matches on the Sunday afternoon, aimed at keeping the tiring pairs
spirits up and adding their weight to the fundraising efforts.
Adventurer couple Riaan Manser and his wife Vasti will be part of the Sunday
afternoon exhibition match, along with ex-rugby player Werner Greeff, TV
personality Steven Taylor, actress Chanelle de Jager and Beatenberg lead singer
Gomes and Thompson have spent the week ahead of their marathon tennis match
banking as much sleep as possible, and encouraging individuals and corporates
to get behind their fundraising drive.
"This week has been all about logistics, making sure that clock is ready
and that all the volunteers are in place," said Thompson.
They will be allowed five minutes rest every hour, which they plan to bank to
enable them to get some sleep during the 65 hour challenge that will start at
the Constantia Tennis Club at 17:00 on Friday and if all goes according
to plan, will end at 10:00 on Monday.
In addition they plan to make full use of the normal tennis rules allowing the
players to rest between each game and set.
The entire match will be scrutinised by the Guinness Book of World Records to
ensure the pair comply with all the requirements, and will be streamed live on
"We are excited and nervous at the same time," said Gomes.
are really thrilled by the growing support from the tennis community, and the worldwide
interest in our bid.
"We have no doubts about how tough it will be," he added.
club mates and friends will be there to support us on the Saturday afternoon,
and the celeb exhibition matches on Sunday will be just what we need at that
stage in the 65 hour challenge.
The pair said they were buoyed by the enthusiasm of the young tennis players
from the two township tennis clubs they were raising funds for.
"The youngsters from Khayalitsha and Khayamandi will also be there to
support us. We have organised that they get some elite coaching on the
Saturday," said Thompson.
"The real challenge here is to make sure we raise enough money to be able
to provide the young tennis players in Khayalitsha and Khayamandi with decent
tennis facilities and to make sure that this is a sustainable support
programme," added Carlos.
More information can be found at www.grassrootstennis.co.za where
donations and pledges can also be made.