De Kock is passionate about SA tennis

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CAPE TOWN – Widely-travelled tennis coach Stephan de Kock has tossed his hat into the ring for the post of South Africa’s Davis Cup captain.

The post became vacant after Marcos Ondruska’s four-term ended. Ondruska chose not to reapply and felt the time was ripe for a change of captain.

As one of the world’s leading ATP doubles coaches, De Kock is at the coalface of international tennis and has attended all grand slam and major tournaments for several years now. Lately, he attended the US and French Open and coached doubles teams there.

At these blue-riband events, De Kock also has a chance to see the world’s leading players first-hand. Similarly, he can keep an eye on SA’s leading players like the country’s No 1 singles player Lloyd Harris.

De Kock has been coaching doubles specialist Raven Klaasen for several years now. He has also worked with other members of the current Davis Cup team at various stages during their careers.

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South African doubles specialist Raven Klaasen. Photo: AP Photo/Nick Wass

“While coaching on the ATP circuit over the last 10 plus years, I am surrounded with players that South Africa would possibly compete against in a Davis Cup tie,” said De Kock.

“Currently I am coaching two out of the three established players in SA’s current Davis Cup team and I’m familiar with all our US College-based players.

“I fully understand the current status quo regarding tennis in South Africa and the hurdles it may face. I align myself with Tennis South Africa’s vision as well as that of the director of tennis, Jeff Coetzee.”

De Kock has held various positions in SA tennis down the years. He has served as a national selector at senior, junior and university level. He coached junior national teams and worked as an assistant Davis Cup coach three years ago.

De Kock feels there are various areas that require attention before the SA Davis Cup team can return to the top tier of the competition.

“The position of Davis Cup captain has various components that need to be addressed in order to excel,” said De Kock.

“In my current position and given my experience, I am confident that I fulfil these components and would be the right candidate.

“I will be at the disposal of the director of tennis to assist with duties such as junior and senior performance, as well as development programmes.

“I am passionate about tennis and I am passionate about tennis in South Africa.”

Tennis SA will interview candidates over the next fortnight and then a committee will make a final decision. The announcement is expected early next month.

@Herman_Gibbs

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