Neville to Coach Kevin Anderson

DSC00872Former top 100-ranked tennis player Neville Godwin admitted he was shocked when asked to coach Kevin Anderson.

“I was taken totally unawares,” said Godwin. “Kevin called me in mid-December to ask if I was interested.

“Obviously I am excited and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I feel privileged that Kevin came to me.”

The position to coach the world No 22 opened up when his current mentor, New Zealander GD Jones, decided to take up a position in the financial world with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Auckland.

Godwin, who was ranked as high as 90 in singles, is only 1.73m tall and had to use his wiles in order to win matches. He played a solid serve-and-volley game and had an uncanny ability analyse his opponents’ games. “That was my strength. I had to compensate for my size and I tend to see the game slightly differently to others. I was always able to read an opponent and expose his weaknesses.”

Godwin feels there are a couple of places Anderson could sharpen up his game. “I am happy with his movement and the way he strikes the ball. But I would like to help him with the placements of his volleys and I think his service percentage could be better.”

Improving Anderson’s volleys looks to be another goal. “I believe Kevin is looking for a way to shorten points and in any case I think he’s a better player when he comes forward.”

There will be a three-month trial period in which they both will assess the situation. Godwin will join Anderson in the USA this week and they will practice in Delray Beach, Florida and their first tournament together will be the Delray Beach tournament starting on February 17.

After that they will move on to Acapulco, then to Indian Wells and Miami. “To me Kevin has a similar game to American John Isner but he has a more complete game. If Isner could get into the top 10 then I see no reason why Kevin can’t.”

Anderson says he is “enthusiastic about this new partnership”. “Hopefully his diverse knowledge and experience will be just what’s needed to elevate my game to the next level, not to mention I’ll enjoy having someone to chat to on tour about South African cricket and rugby.”©

 Gauteng Central take this opportunity of thanking Neville for his wonderful contribution to our association especially for his Saturday morning squad commitments.  All the best Neville!!