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08 November 2011

De Jager to double up as Davis and Fed Cup captain


Photo: Reg CaldecottSouth African captain John-Laffnie de Jager and Rik de Voest (RSA)


Former Davis Cup doubles player John-Laffnie de Jager has been appointed captain of both the Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas South African teams.

“After a thorough interview process and careful consideration by the Board of the SATA (South African Tennis Association), John-Laffnie de Jager has been appointed as captain of both the South African Davis Cup and Fed Cup Tennis teams,” announced SATA chief executive Ian Smith.

“The deciding factors in this decision were past record and knowledge of senior and developing players. We know he and the players of both teams will do us proud.”

John-Laffnie de Jager was first appointed Captain on the Davis Cup team in 2005. In 2009 de Jager was re-appointed to the position until 2011.

Next year, South Africa will compete in Davis Cup Europe/Africa Group I and will be looking to gain promotion to the World Group after falling short in last September’s play-offs against Croatia. The team have received a first round bye in 2012 and will play the winner of the Denmark v Slovenia tie in the second round.

As far as the Fed Cup competition is concerned, the South Africans will compete in Fed Cup’s Europe/Africa Zone Group II next year following promotion from Group III.

"It is a great privilege for me to be appointed Davis and Fed Cup captain,” sayd De Jager. “It’s an exciting and challenging time for both teams with the Davis Cup team trying to get into the World Group and the Fed Cup Team trying to get into Group I and then the World Group.

“Kevin Anderson, Chani Scheepers and Natalie Grandin had their best year on the tour and that is very exciting for SA tennis. The time is right for getting the new generation of players involved so they can learn from the older and more experienced players.”

He added that one of his priorities is to encourage both Anderson and Scheepers to play next year. “We have seen the huge influence Kevin had on the Davis Cup team and I am sure Chani will have the same impact on the Fed Cup team.

“I am very passionate about my country and it is a huge privilege to serve it," concluded De Jager.

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