Johannesburg - Rising tennis star Bertus Kruger has been presented with the perfect opportunity to sharpen his skills.
The Johannesburg-born protégé is the latest South African tennis player to move to the US after the Texas Christian University in Fort Worth accepted his application to study accounting.
“A lot of tennis players recommended the university I am going to and it has a good ranking,” Kruger said.
“I’ve heard a lot of great things about American universities, so I decided to go there and develop myself".
Local tennis players
Kruger (18) believes 2018 is going to be a great year. Last year, he qualified for the main draw for the Junior French Open.
Although he lost to 10th seed Oliver Crawford 7-6, 6-4, he says his performance was encouraging.
He said his biggest goal this year was to improve his world ranking.
By the end of last year, the 18-year-old was ranked 1 471 in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals.
“I will be playing in Futures tournaments, but I think grand slams will come after university".
Kruger joins a growing list of South African tennis players who have moved to the US.
Tucker Vorster, Nick Scholtz, Raven Klaasen, Kevin Anderson and Chanel Simmonds are some of the local tennis players who moved abroad to improve their performance on the court.
World No 12 Anderson crashed out of the Australian Open in the first round when he was beaten by Britain’s Kyle Edmund on Monday.
The defeat served as Edmund’s revenge after he was beaten by Anderson in their only previous encounter – last year’s French Open.
Simmonds lost a Futures match in Orlando, Florida,a few days ago.
Simmonds lost to Spaniard María Teresa Torró Flor in the International Tennis Federation Women’s Circuit.
Recently, sisters Zoe and Isabella Kruger joined the IMG Academy, a preparatory boarding school and training facility in Florida.
The sisters are the daughters of the late Springbok legend Ruben Kruger.
The former Springbok and Bulls flank died in 2010 after battling with brain cancer for 10 years.
His daughters are coached by former professional tennis player Thomas Högstedt.
Högstedt – the junior singles winner at the 1981 US Open – has also coached five-time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova from Russia, Canadian Eugenie Bouchard and world No 1 Simona Halep from Romania.