It’s a sad day when someone pushes their personal agenda above the Olympic hopes and dreams of an entire nation, which is exactly what two of SA’s top-ranked tennis players have done. Kevin Anderson and Chanelle Scheepers have made themselves unavailable to compete in this year’s Olympics as a result of what at best can be called petty spite.
The duo both would’ve made the automatic qualifiers due to their favourable world rankings if they had simply represented South Africa at the Davis Cup and Fed Cup matches earlier this year. Instead they chose to simmer in their own spite and stubborn refusal. Scheepers has been quoted saying,
“[W]hen I needed help from them it was not forthcoming, but now they want me to help them out.”
Great attitude, real top-drawer stuff.
Their selfish disregard towards the Games has also drawn criticism from former tennis greats Kevin Curren and Abe Segal, neither of whom could understand what would push the young stars to adopt such a stance.
“I don’t understand their attitude at all,” said Segal.
“I would view it as an honour and privilege to be able to participate in the Olympic Games.
“Personally, I would have given an arm and a leg to have participated in the Olympics but, unfortunately, during my playing career, tennis was not an Olympic sport.
“It’s really a shame not to be represented in this year’s tennis event particularly when it is being staged at Wimbledon.”
“It was always a great regret in my career that, because of the boycott, I was never able to represent South Africa in either the Davis Cup or the Olympic Games,” added Curren.
South Africa has a strong tennis record at the Olympics, coming in as the fourth most successful nation at the games and bagging two gold medals in men’s singles one by Charles Winslow in 1910 and the other by Louis Raymond in 1920.
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