Newsletter – 04/2007

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INTER PROVINCIAL 

Our team finished joint 5th out of the twelve teams that took part in the SAA Senior Interprovincial tournament held in Stellenbosch.  There were four groups and they finished second behind Natal in their Group, but such was the disparity of tennis that the only match of real consequence was that against Natal. They had easily beaten the Boland/Western Province Invitational side and North West but sadly, they suffered a bad dose of “Shark Attack” to lose quite badly. This meant they were left to fight it out for 5th to 8th place amongst those other teams who finished second in the other Groups. We beat Eastern Province 6-3 in the first play off match but the weather intervened and the match against Free State to decide 5th and 6th spot was not played.

For the record, Western Province beat Gauteng North 7-1 in the final to capture the title of Inter Provincial Champions.  By all accounts the organization and running of the event was excellent and Tennis SA is to be congratulated on the success of the event.

INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS

CONGRATULATIONS….to Chanel Simmonds who was runner up in the recent ITF Futures Tournament in Cape Town. Chanel, coached by Earl Grainger, played Bundes League for Bedfordview and the runners up spot is a great achievement for her particularly as she was unseeded. In fact for South Africa, it was a good tournament, as all four semi finalists were “home grown” products with the winner being Eastern Province’s Lizaan du Plessis.

In the mens’ event Damian Hume’s ability to draw a top seed sadly, continued. He lost to the Italian, Matteo Volante, the top seed, in the first round.

In the Nike Junior event in Torino, Kaylee Sher reached the quarter finals of the Girls under 14 event, eventually going down to the American, Ellen Tsay 36 57.  It was a great effort by young Kaylee and we are sure she will have learnt a lot from the experience of playing on clay.

South Africa almost had their first winner of a Nike Junior tournament in Wayne Montgomery. Wayne, who was originally from Gauteng East and now plays out of Boland, lost to the top seed Marek Routa from the Czech Republic in the final. This is the second time that this highly talented Somerset West young man has reached the final of a Nike event, and surely it can not be too much longer before he actually lifts a trophy. He is undoubtedly one of our top juniors at the moment, and with the guidance of his father, Pierre, he should indeed scale the heights in the junior tennis world. 

The man who went one step higher was Rik de Voest who won his first ATP title with victory in the doubles in Beijing. Playing with Ashley Fisher they beat another South African, Chris Haggard, and Yen-Hsun Lu in the third set Pro Tie Break. They had played together once before and won the Challenger event in Vancouver last month, and in all this was Fisher’s third ATP double crown. Rik is ranked at 129 on the latest ATP Ranking list while Wesley Moodie has dropped to a disappointing 210 with Kevin Anderson at 215. 

LOCAL NEWS

There is a lot happening within the Province and we look forward with confidence for the New Year. Yes, all clubs will be kept informed but we can assure you that there are interesting developments in the pipe line, all for the good of tennis in your Province. 

Mixed league and our leagues for 2007 have finished. The results of the mixed league will be sent out as soon as we have all the results collated. 

IMPORTANT ….. those of you with Juniors’ who play tournaments please go to the TR3 website (www.tr3.co.za) for all the changes that will come into effect as from December1st. Briefly, the age groups for the tournaments will change as will the ranking system, so please make yourselves conversant with all these changes, they are ……IMPORTANT.

A REQUEST   …..one the most important people at any tennis tournament is the umpire. Well, the Umpires Association is looking for people who would like to become involved with officiating. This can be very rewarding, and courses are held to assist those who would like to become involved. We, as the Provincial Association, will be trying to assist this Association and will be sending out more details next year how you, the clubs, can assist. We would like to encourage clubs to make use of these umpires at your club championship finals and also at District Tournaments. Remember that just like a player, an umpire needs the practice as well, and we will endeavor to encourage you, the clubs, to help with their “practice.”  We all know that there are very few opportunities for umpires to work at scheduled events, but they all have to start somewhere and why not at club level. More details will be sent out in the New Year but in the meantime should you know of anyone who would like to join the Umpires Association, please contact the office and either Wendy or Mickey will give you the number to call. 

NATIONAL TOURNAMENT

We have been told by Tennis SA that they will, once again, be staging the National Tournament. The winners of our Bundes League, both men and ladies, will represent our Province and we will also be sending teams from the Second League to participate in this National event. We have not as yet been given the dates or the venue, but as soon as we know more details, this will be communicated. 

ATP MASTERS CUP

What an incredible end to the year, especially for one man, David Nalbandian.  After a shocking start to the year when he could hardly string two wins together, he comes racing through on the inside rail over the last two furlongs to almost snatch a place in Shanghai. He won in both Madrid and Paris to capture his only two ATP Masters Series crowns (yes, he won the Masters Cup two years ago) and in so doing beat five of the eight qualifiers for the Master Cup AND beat the top two players in the world, Federer and Nadal at BOTH events. What a year end for David who is the first alternate for the Masters Cup, and with a question mark over the fitness of Andy Roddick, he may well play. Both Federer and Nadal will be hoping he is not in their Group! The men who will play in Shanghai are Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Davydenko, Roddick, Ferrer, Gonzales and Gasquet. Some field, some tennis to watch as from 11 November. The tournament will be screened on DStv from early in the morning of 11 November.

What a sad end to the year for tennis with Davydenko becoming embroiled in allegations of a betting “scam” and also not giving his “best efforts” and then Martina Hingis testing positive for a banned substance at Wimbledon. I was privileged to be in Paris in 1993 when, as a 12 year old, she won the French Junior title and her name has been on every ones lips since then. I also saw her defeat at Wimbledon this year when she lost to Laura Granville on Court 2 on the Friday in the third round. Such a sad end to a career which saw her set the tennis world alight as a teenager.

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS

As this will be the last Newsletter of the year, it is time to wish all you club members a very Happy Christmas and a Great Tennis in the New Year. On behalf of the Executive we wish you and your families all the best for 2008.

Also a big THANK YOU for your support of our leagues and events throughout the year. With the plans being formulated by your Executive, we look forward to an exciting 2008.

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