SA tennis coaches double-faulted in coronavirus lockdown

Earl Grainger (Gallo Images)
Earl Grainger (Gallo Images)

Independently employed, South Africa's band of tennis coaches have been financially double-faulted in the current coronavirus lockdown - with none more so than former Fed Cup captain and ATP Tour player Earl Grainger.

Now running his own academy, which numbers approximately 400 of the country's tennis players, Grainger employs 11 assistants who have under their charge many of South Africa's most promising development prospects.

"In keeping with the lockdown generally," says Grainger, "tennis in South Africa at all levels has come to a dead standstill, not only affecting myself and my 11 assistants, but also some great prospects at the most inopportune time of their development."

The former South African Fed Cup captain points to the budding group of players under his charge who had travelled overseas to further their careers in ITF tournaments early in the year at substantial financial travel expense to themselves.

"They were not only deprived of the valuable experience of playing in tournaments that were summarily cancelled," said Grainger, "but also having to return to South Africa without funds that had been accumulated over years.

"For these youngsters it's a case of the chance of a lifetime going awry,'' said Grainger, "with the prospect of starting all over again in building a financial base to make another sortie on the overseas circuit when matters are normalised.

"I've tried to keep the players in my academy in touch with advice and tips over the internet," he added, "but it's hardly the real thing in maintaining momentum."

As for the coaches in Grainger's academy, they have been deprived of the source of their incomes, while contemplating when the "double fault" situation caused by the virus pandemic will be replaced with the chance of delivering aces once more.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 9983 votes
Cricket
11% - 2678 votes
Football
19% - 4524 votes
Athletics
2% - 592 votes
Boxing
1% - 223 votes
Cycling
2% - 552 votes
Golf
5% - 1176 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1993 votes
Tennis
3% - 805 votes
Water sports
1% - 212 votes
American sports
1% - 297 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 765 votes
Vote