Grandin disappointed over Olympic pullout
SA will not be represented in the Olympic Games tennis tournament in London this year
SPORTS STAFF Published: 2012/03/22 08:02:40 AM
SA WILL not be represented in the Olympic Games tennis tournament in London this year, dashing local Natalie Grandin’s hopes.
The Durban-born 27th-ranked women’s doubles player yesterday said she had set her heart on competing in the Olympic event, which is staged on the Wimbledon courts.
A difficult week in South African tennis saw top South African men’s and women’s players Kevin Anderson and Chani Scheepers deciding not to make themselves available for next month’s crucial Davis Cup and Fed Cup events.
The International Tennis Federation rules stipulate that only players who have made themselves available for Davis Cup or Fed Cup action in two of the past four years will be eligible to compete in the Games.
This has not only disqualified Anderson and Scheepers from competing, but has also affected SA’s Davis Cup and Fed Cup prospects. Without the country’s top players in the Euro-Africa Davis Cup tie against Slovenia in Soweto early next month, and the Euro-Africa Group Two Fed Cup play-offs in Egypt later in the month, SA will have to rely on their less experienced charges.
"This was going to be an experience of a lifetime partnering Kevin and Chani at the Olympic Games," Grandin said. "Now it has all gone up in smoke."
Adding to the South African Tennis Association’s woes is the fact that SA’s No2 men’s player, Rik de Voest, has also pulled out of the Davis Cup tie against Slovenia because of "personal problems".
Without Anderson and De Voest, SA’s prospects of beating the Slovenian squad and going on to qualify for a place in the Davis Cup World Group play-offs later in the year have taken a serious knock.
It emerged on Tuesday that Anderson is missing the Davis Cup tie in order to pursue US citizenship. This was revealed by SA team captain John-Laffnie de Jager on Tuesday after Anderson, the world No28, De Voest and Fritz Wolmarans declared themselves unavailable for the tie.
"Kevin told me that while he is in the process of obtaining his green card for citizenship he is not able to leave the US without a visa," De Jager said.