ATP Tour

Godwin stays on as Anderson’s coach

Kevin Anderson (AP)
Kevin Anderson (AP)

Cape Town - It is a close relationship on and off the court that blossomed initially when former South African Davis Cup player Neville Godwin assumed the position of coach to top South African tennis player Kevin Anderson.

But with the lanky, big-serving Anderson's world ranking plummeting persistently from 12th at the start of the year to a disconcerting 70th, speculation has emerged over whether the partnership would continue in 2017.

Godwin, now back in South Africa after an arduous and generally disappointing ATP season, says he is welcoming the rest and opportunity to recharge his batteries - which Anderson is also doing in the United States.

But he added there is no question he would not be winging his way to Australia early in 2017 to assist Anderson's preparation for the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam event of the year.

Meanwhile, the 30 year-old Anderson's 2016 decline continues to arouse concern and uncertainty over whether he will be able to challenge again for a top 20 world position - let alone a prestigious place among the leading 10 players, which was an objective at the start of the 2016 campaign.

While a succession of injuries at the start of 2016 precipitated his sharp drop in the rankings, Anderson declared himself fully fit before participating in the blue riband Wimbledon championships in mid-year - but psychologically the burden of poor results seemingly continues to haunt him, with a number of  early-round games that appeared within his grasp ending in further defeats.

Now because of his ranking in the vicinity of 70th it is effectively  a case of starting all over to reach the top echelons because Anderson will no longer initially receive the protection of a seeding - and he might not even be an automatic qualifier in some instances.

But  the straight-talking Godwin, as he was during his playing career when he reached a top 100 ranking and beat the redoubtable Boris Becker at Wimbledon, remains optimistic and sees the off-season break heralding a revival.

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