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Johannesburg – While he made himself unavailable for South Africa's crucial Davis Cup World Group playoff against Canada next month because of a proclaimed knee injury, organisers have announced that SA men's number one Kevin Anderson will participate in the lucrative WTT Finals extravaganza in Charleston, United States, at the same time.
“Venus Williams, John McEnroe, Lindsay Davenport and Kevin Anderson will lead the lineup of top tennis players battling for the World Team Tennis Championship at the WTT Finals weekend,” the WTT organisation said in a statement this week.
The tournament will take place from September 14-16, over the same period that South Africa square up against a powerful Canadian outfit as they go in search of a place in the top tier of the Davis Cup.
South African Davis Cup captain John-Laffnie de Jager on Friday described the news as “shocking and inexplicable”.
“I simply can't understand it,” De Jager said.
Former SA Davis Cup star and one of the world's leading doubles players during his colourful career, Abe Segal, believed Anderson was attracted by the financial incentives at the WTT event.
“It's all a matter of Anderson's bank balance,” said Segal, who had earlier been highly critical of Anderson's decision not to make himself available for the Davis Cup tie.
“Anderson has been playing in tournaments week in and week out, and he will continue to do so right up until the US Open.
“It was a lame excuse when he announced his withdrawal from the Davis Cup tie because of a knee injury.
“But now that it has become known that he is going to play in the WTT event, which pays the players big bucks, instead of stepping up to the base to assist his country when he is most needed, the deception is nothing short of a disgrace.”
Segal had earlier stated that he would have “given an arm and a leg to represent South Africa in the Davis Cup” and he regarded the experience as one of the highlights of his career.
World Team Tennis competitions have no bearing on players' world rankings. – Sapa