By Mark Etheridge
Injury has forced our doubles ace Jeff Coetzee to delay his return to international competition ahead of the year’s final Grand Slam tennis tournament, the US Open in New York.
Coetzee, 33, was planning to play a tournament in Orbetello, Italy, starting on Monday but will now only jet out next Friday.
“I’ve been having a few problems with my hamstring so I don’t want to take any chances,” said Coetzee on Friday. “I’m very keen to leave because I’m hungry to do well.”
Coetzee is currently ranked 104th in the ATP World Doubles rankings, although he’s been as high as 12th, two years ago. “The plan is to play a couple of Challenger events as I need to get some matches in. Tournaments that I have lined up are Cordenons in Italy, Segovia in Spain and Istanbul, Turkey. Then I’m taking a week off then it’s Geneva, Switzerland and then over to the United States in September where I’ll team up with Britain’s Jamie Murray.”
Coetzee’s most recent action was at this year’s All-England Championships at Wimbledon where he and Belgian Kristof Vliegen lost to another SA/Belgian combination in the shape of Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman.
After the US Open, Coetzee, who grew up in the tiny town of Okiep in Namaqualand, will turn his attention to the Davis Cup, where South Africa come up against Germany.
“Obviously the Germans are favourites but after all, it’s Davis Cup and anything can happen. In order for us to have a better chance of victory we really need Kevin Anderson (SA’s top ranked player) on the clay. I really hope everyone makes themselves available so that (captain) John-Laffnie de Jager can pick the best team.”