Former South African doubles star and current ATP touring coach, Jeff Coetzee. Picture supplied.

PRETORIA  Former South African doubles star and current ATP touring coach, Jeff Coetzee, will guide South Africa at the ATP Cup, which is set to be held across three Australian cities (Perth, Brisbane and Sydney) in early 2020.

The international men’s team event takes place from January 3 to 12 in the lead-up to the year's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open in Melbourne, and will feature teams from 24 countries. SA has been drawn in Group A and will face Serbia, France and Chile in Brisbane.

The country’s former world number five Kevin Anderson, together with doubles specialist Raven Klaasen will spearhead the South African team in the inaugural event. They will be joined by rising singles star, Lloyd Harris, experienced doubles campaigner, Ruan Roelofse and world number 18-ranked junior, Kholo Montsi.

Coetzee has enjoyed a golden 2019 after steering his Colombian charges, Juan-Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, to the Wimbledon and US Open men's doubles titles, in the process elevating them to a number one ATP doubles ranking.

“I am delighted to coach the South African ATP Cup team. It always means so much to represent my country,” said Coetzee.

“It is great to have a balance on our team with the experienced players and a youngster like Kholo Montsi who has this opportunity that one dreams of at such a young and tender age.

“The ATP Cup is definitely a great event, especially that time of the year. It Guarantees you at least 3 good matches before Australian Open.

“It is also a good opportunity to represent your country and it is so fitting as it is an Olympic year next year.

Coetzee added that the competition will be tough but confident that the team will do well with Kevin Anderson part of the contingent: “It will be tough for us, but it also gives us the opportunity to represent our country in a team environment with Kevin Anderson which is so huge for us and to show the world that we belong there.”

Montsi, 17, has made strong rankings progress this year, after bagging his first ITF Grade 2 and Grade A titles – as a result breaking into the top-20 in the ITF global junior rankings.

Eight teams will emerge from the round-robin stage, at the event, to compete in the knockout phase. Ties comprise two singles and a doubles match. 

African News Agency (ANA)