Newsletter 07/2009

What a tremendous climax to the Wimbledon fortnight. A mens final that contained all the excitement, tension and drama that you could wish for and in the end history was made.

Once again in these Newsletters we pay special tribute and say CONGRATULATIONS to Roger Federer on his success, firstly in regaining his title and secondly on surpassing Pete Sampras in the total number of Grand Slam titles won. But spare a thought for a gallant, courageous and on any other day a potential champion himself, Andy Roddick. He could, nay, should have been two sets to love up and from there it is a totally different match as we all know; he broke Federer twice and only lost his serve once but with that break went to match and he battled on and on in that final set always having to play “catch up” and showed tremendous courage and fortitude to go into my book as the unluckiest loser along with Pat Rafter after his epic in 2001 with Goran Ivanisevic.

NEWS FLASH – Roger’s wife gave birth to twin girls today – Friday 24th August 2009.

Of our players, there were sadly, only a few or not nearly enough from a country this size which ever way you like to look at it. But having said that Wesley Moodie continued his amazing run in doubles with a semi final berth and having to dig deep on a couple of occasions to gain victory only after a mammoth fifth set.

In fact we have been spoilt for great sporting moments over the past month. Add to the excitement of the mens final the drama that unfolded at the Open golf. The two are well covered by the words of a former tennis writer of one of Johannesburg’s newspapers, when in an e mail to me he said “In all the years of following sport I don’t recall two such heart-stopping, drama laden events as the Wimbledon men’s final and the last day of the Open Championship-and all within the space of a couple of weeks. Nor do I recall any two finishes that reflected so movingly the heartbreak of losing after so much effort. Without begrudging the winners their spoils, the two names I shall associate with great moments of 2009 are Roddick and Watson.” 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

You should have received the notice and agenda for this meeting but in case you have not, here are the details;

Date 12 August at 19:00 at The Old Edwardian Society in Houghton.

Please ensure that your club has a representative there as we need your input towards the running of tennis in the province.

There is one minor change to the meeting whereby we have asked if you wish to raise anything under General, then please advise us by no later than 5 August of your questions. We have done this so as to be in a position to answer your queries fully and we do not wish to be in a position whereby, due to lack of research into the question, not be in a position to give a satisfactory answer.

 We are sure that any questions you may wish to ask have been on your mind for sometime and not suddenly thought of at the meeting and therefore only fair that we also have time to consider our reply.

JUNIORS

How life changes. Instead of me going to tournaments to play, I now find myself going as taxi driver, mentor, hitting partner to a 10 year old grand son. What pleasure I have derived from seeing the game through new eyes, in other words, his.

Having been to a number of tournaments this year I must say that the standard in that age group is pleasingly high. I was quite amazed that it is in fact so high. Players from Gauteng North and East, Western Province and Boland as well as our own juniors, have impressed.

BIG NEWS

We said last time around that there were some exciting events “pencilled in”, and we would let you know as and when they came to fruition.

Well, the first one is the return of Davis Cup tennis to us. Yes, we have a vitally important tie against India from 18 – 21 September at the Arena, and the winner of that tie goes into the World Group for next year.

Just think of the possibilities!! A win could see us playing the likes of the US of A, Australia, Spain, or Argentina? And now think of the worlds’ top players that we could be playing against, and then think that we could be seeing them here in Johannesburg.

We, as your Executive are working “hand in hand” with SA Tennis, Ellis Park Rugby Management and the City of Johannesburg Management to ensure that the tie is not only a huge success on the court, but also off the court. This is a golden opportunity for us all to reposition Ellis Park as the home of tennis in this country. SA Tennis has plans for a major marketing and promotional campaign to advertise the event which will hit the media in due course.

It is our aim to recapture the old spirit of the days when tennis was a way of life to Johannesburgers and a visit to Ellis Park was a “must” in every ones diary.

The Precinct has been revamped to be visually appealing. The Confederations Cup football matches went off without a hitch from a public safety point of view. There is now a fully covered, secure car parking facility by the rugby stadium next to the swimming pool which will be used as parking for you, the public. It is then a short, secure walk through the newly appointed Precinct into the grounds to ensure that your safety is assured.

Just to think that with Israel having got to the semi finals of the Davis Cup this year, why can not South Africa follow that achievement next year? Surely, if they can, we can.

We would like your full support at this tie and we ask you to motivate your club members into organizing a party of spectators and come along to not only cheer South Africa into the World Group, but take the opportunity of  seeing the new, revamped area and being part of the greater Tennis Family of Johannesburg.

To this end, we are in negotiations with SA Tennis that tickets for the event for clubs can be purchased through us. We hope to conclude this arrangement within the next week and then we will send out a News Flash to you with details as to how you can book your seats.

It is an occasion that should not be missed.

SUMMER LEAGUES

Entry forms have been sent out to you and just a reminder that the closing date for entries is 24 July.

Bundes League will again be staged centrally at Ellis Park on Saturday afternoons and as in previous years we believe that the competition will be keen and hard fought.

NATIONAL CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

Our representatives are in Durban as I write and we wish them all the best and hopefully they can keep the Gauteng Central flag flying. Full details of their progress will be given next week upon their return.

Please diarise ;

The Annual General Meeting and

The Davis Cup in September.

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