Tennis SA (TSA) on Thursday appointed Grand Slam winning coach, Jeff Coetzee, as the federation’s first-ever director of tennis.
The 42-year-old Coetzee, who originally hails from Okiep in the Northern Cape, will combine his current ATP Tour Coaching responsibilities with the new position and is excited about the opportunity to oversee TSA’s high performance player pathway.
“I am delighted to have accepted this role. It is a great platform for me to give back to tennis in South Africa and to be part of the growth of the sport in our country,” said Coetzee.
“There has been a lot of progress within TSA in the past few years, but there is still much work to be done, especially to create future home-grown Grand Slam players.
“A key focus area for this role is communication and my immediate priority is to build stronger relationships with our players, parents and coaches. As a tennis nation we have huge natural athletic talent, but need to benchmark ourselves against the best in the world and then deliver on those benchmarks.”
Tennis SA turn to Grand Slam winning coach
2019 was a golden year for Coetzee who guided the Colombian duo, Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah, to the number one spot in the ATP doubles rankings, in the process claiming two Grand Slam titles.
Richard Glover, CEO of TSA, believes the appointment is a significant statement of intent by the Federation.
“We wanted to secure a Director of Tennis who has a proven track-record of success at the highest level and it is not every day you can sign up a current Wimbledon and US Open winning coach,” said Glover.
Jeff is a great professional, a clever strategist and a fantastic communicator. We believe he will play an influential role in moving local tennis forward, both on and off the court,” said Glover.
“While some might be concerned about Jeff combining his existing day job with this new position, we actually see it is a positive and innovative move, as it will enable him to network at the highest level of the game and help to build international collaborations, that will ultimately benefit our players and their coaches.”
– African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Michael Sherman