Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
3 Jul 2017
6:46 pm

Kevin Anderson grinds his way to a good start at Wimbledon

Wesley Botton

South Africa's lone singles representative shows his mettle on the same day Tennis SA announces a big new sponsorship.

South Africa's Kevin Anderson is safely through to the second round at Wimbledon. Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images.

Lone South African singles hope Kevin Anderson cruised through the first round of the Wimbledon Championships on Monday.

Making his return to competition after withdrawing in the fourth round of the French Open last month with a hamstring injury, Anderson lost the opening set again Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.

He recovered well, however, to secure a 2-6 7-6(5) 7-6(8) 6-3 win over the former world No 8.

The big-serving SA player was set to face Italian Andreas Seppi in the second round on Wednesday.

Doubles specialist Raven Klaasen, the only other South African in the main draw, and American partner Rajeev Ram were also scheduled to open their campaign at the All England Club later in the week.

Meanwhile, Tennis SA will launch a number of development and transformation programmes after announcing a new headline sponsor.

The two-year deal with Growthpoint Properties would ensure financial boosts for development, transformation and club-level competition, according to the domestic tennis body.

Three new centres of development would be formed, along with a national development squad and a new National Club Championships, which would carry a R200 000 prize purse.

“By earmarking prize money for winning clubs, as well as the players, we are investing in the facilities and capabilities of community tennis clubs across the country,” said Nadine Kuzmanich, head of marketing at Growthpoint.

“This will also help to build and grow the sport with more resources.”

While other codes outside the country’s top three sports – football, rugby and cricket – were struggling to find corporate funding, TSA had secured a handful of smaller deals in recent months, capped by their latest contract.

The federation would not reveal the value of the new sponsorship, though it insisted it was large enough to make a significant impact on the sport.

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