Boost for SA coach de Jager in unlikely source
South African Davis Cup captain John-Laffnie de Jager may have had little joy from his team in this year's tournament but is receiving a degree of compensation in the striking performances on the ATP circuit of rising doubles pair Horia Tecau of Romania and American-based Jean-Julien Roger, whom he coaches.
FILE PICTURE: Izak van der Merwe from South Africa congratulated by team captain John-Laffnie de Jager after beating Blaz Kavcic (Slovenia) during the Davis Cup reverse singles at Arthur Ashe Stadium on April 08, 2012 in Soweto, South Africa. Photo by Reg Caldecott / Gallo Images
Tecau and Roger clinched their sixth ATP title of the year winning the China Open doubles in Beijing leaving them well-placed to qualify for the year-end World Doubles event in London as one of the leading eight pairings.
“Hard work and the ability to dovetail their play and bring out the best in each other’s ability has done the trick,” said De Jager, himself a top ATP doubles exponent during his playing career and now regarded one of the leading doubles coaches on the international circuit.
“Naturally the Davis Cup remains a priority, but there is no conflict with ATP tournaments and this allows me to spend time with Horia and Jean-Julien as well.”
Ironically, the performances of Tecau and Roger could keep South African Davis Cup doubles stalwart, Raven Klaasen, out of the premier year-end London event.
Klaasen and his American partner, Eric Butorac, were also in line for the ATP finals, but were presently one place off qualifying in ninth place.
Both the Roger-Tecau pairing and that of Klaasen and Butorac were participating in the doubles event in the current Masters tournament in Beijing, bidding to enhance their rankings.