Separate Davis, Fed Cup captains for SAComment on this story
Johannesburg – Tennis South Africa (TSA) has decided to separate the roles of Davis and Fed Cup captains, it said on Friday.
“The TSA Board decided that two captains needed to be appointed. TSA is of the firm opinion that the Davis Cup and Fed Cup captain's roles could be specifically focused on the men's and ladies team events respectively,” acting TSA chief executive Gavin Crookes said in a statement.
“This gave TSA the opportunity to appoint captains who specialise in the men's and women's game.”
Until the end of last year, John-Laffnie De Jager held both positions.
TSA announced that De Jager would stay on as Davis Cup captain and Earl Grainger would take over as Fed Cup captain.
Both De Jager and Grainger will take responsibilities of their roles for the 2014/2015 period.
De Jager was first appointed Davis Cup captain in September 2005.
In his four terms as Davis Cup captain, De Jager has managed to get South Africa to four World Group play-off games against India (2009), Germany (2010), Croatia (2011) and Canada (2012).
De Jager said he was excited to establish the next generation of South African tennis stars.
“We certainly have the young guns available to make it into the World Group. I have introduced them as part of the squad over the past two years and they have and will continue to grow in the great environment we create during the Davis Cup weeks.”
Grainger was ranked in the top five of junior tennis in South Africa and has represented the country at the Orange Bowl and Rolex International in the USA as a junior.
He was also the youngest player to represent South Africa at the Maccabi Games and had a successful four years on a NCAA scholarship at the University of Tennessee.
Currently, Grainger is a successful tennis coach, whose academy has produced players the likes of Davis Cup players Dean O'Brien, Ruan Roelofse and Fed Cup players Chanel Simmonds and Natasha Fourocalas.
For the past seven years, Grainger has been travelling with Simmonds on the international circuit.
He said he was honoured with the appointment and saw it as a reward for his hard work and dedication.
“It's true, good things come to people who work hard, have loyalty and are honest,” he said.
“Quite honestly, the appointment came as a shock to me. I am very, very proud and very thankful to be given this wonderful opportunity to captain the Fed cup side.” Sapa