Former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson hosted Courtside Cause — his third charity event — over the weekend at the Boca Grove Golf & Tennis Club in Florida, USA. Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters

FLORIDA Former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson hosted Courtside Cause — his third charity event — over the weekend at the Boca Grove Golf & Tennis Club in Florida, USA.

The event benefitted First Serve, Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue and Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance.

“For our third charity event, it was great to be able to expand it even further and help more worthy causes this year. I know how much the money we raise helps these organisations, so the more we can raise and help, the better,” Anderson said.

The event raised more than $90,000 (R1.2m). Anderson played a singles match against former World No. 69 Jesse Levine and Coco Gauff competed against Shelby Rogers, before Anderson and Gauff faced Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan.

Working towards putting on such a successful event also helped put things in perspective for Anderson, who has dropped to No. 91 in the ATP Rankings due to elbow and knee surgeries that limited him to five tournaments in 2019.

“I think planning this event and being able to give back or bring awareness to needy causes is one of the biggest perks of being a tennis player.

“Especially this year being away from the court so much with my injuries, having my focus on what we were going to do at the end of the year kept me busy while I was rehabbing and made me really excited for what we would accomplish,” Anderson said.

“I feel very lucky tennis has allowed me to do these sorts of things and use my platform to hopefully do a bit of good.

“In September, I did a visit to an after school program that First Serve hosts to see how their organisation benefits local youth, and seeing how great the program was for kids that needed a place to be and keeping them off the streets and doing fun activities, I knew it was an organisation I wanted to partner with.

“This year again, we wanted to support Dezzy’s Second Chance Animal Rescue, which is where we rescued Lady Kady from. I know how much good the money will do for them in helping rescue dogs from kill shelters and bringing them back to great health.

“And lastly, I’ve been very passionate about the elimination of single-use plastics and trying to promote this change within the tennis tour, so Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance is not only a great organisation and program to support, but also bring more awareness to what we could all be doing in our daily lives to help our environment.”

Last December, Anderson raised more than $100,000 (R1.4m) at his Grand Slam Cause for the Paws. The 2018 Nitto ATP Finals qualifier will return to the ATP Tour for the first time since Wimbledon at the ATP Cup, where he will lead the South African team. 

African News Agency (ANA)