While tennis in South Africa suffered a heavy blow following the relegation of the Davis Cup team to the third division of the competition, a South African finished in the top 20 of the ATP singles rankings for the first time since Wayne Ferreira in the mid 90s.
Kevin Anderson started the year ranked 37th and experienced a stellar season to became only the sixth South African men's singles player to be ranked in the world's top 20, reaching a career-best 19th position in August.
The towering 27-year-old closed the year out at number 20, following in the footsteps of Kevin Curren, Wayne Ferreira, Johan Kriek, Cliff Drysdale and Christo van Rensburg.
Wheelchair tennis took the spotlight after Lucas Sithole became the first African to win the quad singles at the US Open in September. Sithole defeated America's David Wagner 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the final.
Kgothatso Montjane, South Africa's number one women's wheelchair tennis player, was rewarded for her achievements after she was crowned SA Sportswoman of the year with a disability at the annual SA Sports Awards.
She was also honoured at the Gauteng Sports Awards as Sportswoman of the Year with a disability.
Raven Klaasen who started the year ranked 65th in the ATP men's doubles rankings ended the year in 44th place, while South Africa's number one women's tennis player Chanelle Scheepers finished the year in 80th place on the WTA rankings.
Scheepers struggled in Grand Slam events in 2013 and was knocked out in the first round of the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.
She made it past the first round of the US Open, beating compatriot Chanel Simmonds, but crashed out in the second round against former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.
South Africa last played in the elite Davis Cup World Group in 1998 and have been in the Euro-Africa Group One since 2008. Without the help of Anderson, who declined to make himself available for Davis Cup duty, the South African were relegated to Euro-Africa Group Two of the competition.
The year proved to be a rather difficult one for captain John-Laffnie de Jager and his troops, who were also plagued by a series of injuries.
Starting their 2013 campaign with a 3-1 defeat against Poland in a Group One tie, played in Poland, stalwart Rik de Voest secured the team's only victory with a 6-3 6-7 7-5 6-4 win against Lukasz Kubot.
The defeat against Poland was followed by another loss, this time at the hands of Slovenia in September. Going down 4-1, they were left facing imminent relegation to the third division of the 130-nation competition.
A crushing 5-0 defeat in the relegation tie against Russia put the final nail in the coffin and South Africa dropped into the lower Euro-Africa group.
In the women's Fedcup, the second-seeded South Africa team, made up of Chanel Simmonds, Natalie Grandin, Madrie le Roux and Lyn Kiro, lost to Lithuania and hosts Montenegro 1-2, in the first week of play.
Wins against Greece and Estonia, however, made sure the South Africans remained in Euro-Africa Group Two for 2014.
“We are happy we stayed in Group Two, but it was a disappointing week for us,” Fedcup captain De Jager said.
“We went there to qualify and move up to Group One, but we disappointed ourselves with our performances the first two days.
“The youngsters will have to step up next year, because I doubt at 33-years of age Natalie still wants to play singles.”
South Africa also lost its place in the popular eight-team Hopman Cup after Anderson and Scheepers were omitted from the list when the ITF released the names for the international mixed tournament.
On a more positive note, 2013 marked the return of the Soweto Open to the Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Jabavu, which was cancelled in 2012 due to lack of funding. Canada's Vasek Pospisil was crowned men's singles champion and South Africa's Simmonds finished runner-up in the women's week, after losing out 7-6 (3), 4-6, 1-6 to Hungary's Timea Babos in the final.
In the boardroom, Tennis SA's chief executive Ian Smith stepped down last month after nearly ten years at the helm, saying he had decided to leave the organisation to pursue other interests. His replacement has not yet been named.
During his tenure, Smith covered enormous ground soliciting sponsorship for various TSA programmes. He initiated the brief return of the South African Open, which ran from 2009 to 2011 at Montecasino, in Johannesburg and concluded a five-year deal between South African Airways SAA and the ATP.
Smith, together with Bongani Zondi and Ali Bacher, played an integral role in revamping the Arthur Ashe tennis facility in Soweto, which boasts 16 tennis courts, a clubhouse, and grandstand. Over the years, the facility has hosted several Davis Cup ties, Soweto Opens and a number of junior tournaments. – Sapa