Newsletter – 08/2009

NEWSLETTER 10/09 by Mike Dunk

SUMMER LEAGUE

Another league has been completed and congratulations to all the section winners and in particular to Bedfordview whose men and ladies sides won Bundes League.

There were a similar number of teams participating in the league this year, but a growing concern was sadly very much in evidence. That is the number of teams forfeiting matches. There were more this year than we have experienced in the past and this is a concern to your Executive. What is really a worrying aspect of these withdrawals is the number of A and B sides that are the culprits.

It is a situation that we, as an Executive, will have to address so as to ensure that there is not a repetition of this in the future. We can understand the odd withdrawal of a team, but not when it becomes the “norm” as it was in some cases this year. Mixed League and the Night League have just started so let us hope that we have a “full house” of completed fixtures.

SENIOR INTER PROVINCIAL

Last week saw this event taking place in Pretoria and although we did not go there with any major aspirations of winning the event, we must CONGRATULATE our team in finishing third overall which was very pleasing.

Our team was:

MEN: Andrew Anderson, Werner Knuppe, Paul Anderson and Hylton Nyakabaw.

LADIES; Veronique Luksich, Tracy Plant, Ele de Villiers and Jabu Khubeka.

On the first day we lost to Gauteng North B but bounced back to register wins over Gauteng East and then a very good Boland side which saw us qualify for the semi finals. There we came up against the “power house” that was Western Province, but in the play off for third and fourth place, we gained revenge over Gauteng North.

What was pleasing to see was the number of former Tour players playing for their Province. When I called Western Province a “power house”, that was no understatement. They had former Tour players in Ruan Roelofse, Lucinda Gibbs and Jackie Booth amongst their ranks so it was no real surprise to see that they won the event fairly comfortably. In the final they beat Gauteng North 6-3.

Other players who have or are still playing on the Futures Tour were Heinrich Heyl and BJ van Rensburg.

Our team did us PROUD and a special mention must be made of Andrew Anderson who went through the week unbeaten at number 1 and amongst that company, that was indeed an incredible feat.

We feel that in view of the importance of this event, SA Tennis should look to schedule it at a more suitable time. Our top players at the moment, as is the case with most of the other Provinces, are coaches who find it difficult to take a week off work to play, even though they were very keen to participate.

During the recent Davis Cup we spoke to representatives of both SA Tennis and the other Provinces and the mood from the Provinces was in line with our own thinking. That is, this event is the pinnacle that the local players aspire to and therefore everyone should be able to play. We appreciate that coaches have to coach to generate income and any lessons not given have to be “made up” at some other time as a general rule. Therefore if they take time out to represent their Province they are not earning their living like a salaried person in an office.

We feel that Inter Provincial should be held over a time span where there are Public Holidays, and April would be the most ideal time to host the event. The weather wherever the event is played would be good at that time of year. It is our intention to raise this with SA Tennis and we will be making a recommendation that in future they should give serious consideration to holding the event in April.

Each and every Province should be in a position whereby they can field their strongest team. That is only fair to the Provinces, the players and the event itself.

PRINCE GAUTENG OPEN

We are pleased to announce that Prince will sponsor the above tournament which will take place over the weekends of 14 and 15, 21 and 22 and 28 and 29 November at Ellis Park. A separate notice has been sent out to clubs, Associations and other interested parties enclosing an entry form but in case you have not received this, please contact Wendy or Mickey at the office (0114025615) for one to be sent to you. This is the premier tournament on our senior calendar and we are hoping for a strong entry. Prize money will be R5000 for the event and the Prince Ball will be used. Have a look at the honours board next time you are at Ellis Park and see the star studded names that have won this event in the past, and then you will see why we regard it as the Premier tournament in the country.

DAVIS CUP

What a disappointment. Our chance to regain our position in the World Group was squandered and we now have to wait another year in the hope that we will be able to challenge once again. The irony of the loss to India was even more evident when the draw for the Davis Cup 2010 was done. India’s name, which is where we would have been, was drawn to play Russia in the first round. Had that been South Africa, then we would have had the honour of a home tie. What a pity.

Thank you to all those who did buy tickets through us and came to support South Africa, but this was obviously not our time.

We must say a big “thank you” to the Johannesburg City Council for doing a huge amount of painting to our buildings and generally attending to the tidying up of the entrance to the Grounds. We received may compliments on how good the buildings are now looking and the general up keep of the Grounds. There were many hours spent in negotiations with the Council to seek their assistance and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude for their assistance in ensuring that Ellis Park looked the part for the event. We know that the ITF representatives were impressed with the facilities all round so it remains for us to see that our team not only has another opportunity of challenging for the World Group, but this time earns the right to take on the might of the rest of the major tennis playing nations in the world on our home soil.

JUNIORS

Yet another record was set at recent Junior National Championships. A total of just over 840 entries were received which increased the number of players for the third year in a row. We have tried to get the results of the tournament form SA Tennis but so far our efforts have been in vain so we are unable at this stage to let you know how our juniors faired.

A PLEA

I had a case recently when seeing a member of one of our clubs I was asked if this News Letter was still being done, as they had not seen one for some time. Can I please ask all club representatives who receive this News Letter to ensure that it is forwarded to all club members or at least put on your club notice board? It is imperative that we as an Executive communicate with the clubs and we, in turn, ask you to forward this communication to your members. Thank you.

YOUR COMMENTS AND NEWS

Remember that at out Annual General Meeting, we were asked to incorporate news from the clubs in this news letter. This is your opportunity to boast, brag or even yell it from the roof tops as to what has happened at your club that you feel would be of interest to others. Again I ask if anyone has a snippet of news and they feel they would like it “broadcast”, then drop me a line at mike@3w.co.za and I will be more than happy to do so. Just remember the editor’s decision is final!