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21 Mar 2012 16:30
South Africa will not be represented in the Olympic Games tennis tournament in London this year, leaving Natalie Grandin’s hopes dashed.
The Durban-born 27th-ranked women’s doubles player on Wednesday said that she had set her heart on competing in the Olympic Games tennis event, staged on the Wimbledon courts.
A difficult week in South Africa tennis saw the decision of top South African men’s and women’s players Kevin Anderson and Chani Scheepers not to make thermselves 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 Olympic Games.
This has not only disqualified Anderson and Scheepers from competing in the Olympic Games, but also affected South Africa’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, South Africa 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 South Africa’s number two 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, South Africa’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.—Sapa
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