CENTURIO, October 23, 2021 (Tennis South Africa Press Release)
Playing a key role in the development of South African tennis, global star Kevin Anderson believes the BNP Paribas RCS Rising Star Tennis series is driving the sport forward by focussing on growth at grassroots level.
Anderson, a two-time Grand Slam finalist, is one of the ambassadors of the school’s tennis campaign, now in its second season.
“This program is helping grow the sport by introducing new players to tennis, so hopefully it continues to get more kids playing tennis,” Anderson said from his base in the United States.
“Additionally, being able to compete at a high level with the best players in the country will be very beneficial for the continued growth of aspiring tennis players.”
Some of SA’s most talented young players will compete in the BNP Paribas RCS Rising Star Tennis National Finals in Gauteng this weekend.
With the series expanding this year to include high schools, primary schools and wheelchair tennis players, Anderson was delighted to retain his involvement.
“I love the sport of tennis. I’ve played it my whole life, since I can remember,” said the former world No 5.
“I think tennis teaches many life lessons regardless of your aspirations, and the goals of the Rising Star Tennis initiative in helping grow the sport of tennis in South Africa is something that I’m very passionate about.”
A total of 55 teams will compete in the various divisions at the National Finals, to be held at Arthur Ashe Centre in Soweto and the Groenkloof Club in Pretoria between 22-24 October.
Anderson offered the players some valuable advice.
“I think one of the most important things is to believe in yourself, regardless of who you are playing or what the situation may be,” Anderson said in a message to participants.
“Compete your hardest and keep a positive mindset for every single point. You are representing yourself and your school.”
Looking ahead, with the series having bounced back this year from the Covid lockdown, Anderson hoped the BNP Paribas RCS Rising Star Tennis campaign would continue to pave new ground for the sport, with the support of the project’s committed sponsors.
Already creating opportunities for more than 3 000 players around the country, Anderson was confident it would continue to make a difference by showcasing the nation’s immense talent.
“It’s so important to have the continued support from BNP Paribas and RCS,” he said.
“It’s initiatives like the Rising Star Tennis program that will grow the game of tennis in South Africa. This will allow more people to pick up this great sport at every level, and at the same time help kids with professional aspirations.”