London, United Kingdom; Despite the surprise early exit of twentieth seed Kevin Anderson in round 1 on Monday at the Wimbledon Championships, the South African flag is still flying high above the All England Club in London.
Raven Klaasen of Cape Town will partner with American Rajeev Ram in the doubles and seeded 11 the African/American duo are expecting to do well especially after winning the warm up grass tournament in Halle two weeks ago.
However it’s not just the players who have been flying the rainbow nations flag at the third Grand Slam of the year.
Five Tennis South Africa (TSA) officials are doing duty at the Championships namely Iain Smith, Pieter Hoeksma, George Phiri, Patrick Selepe and Suzette Hattingh, all from Tshwane.
Smith is the Hawk Eye Review Official of the Championships and Hoeksma was a Line Umpire at both the qualifying and main draw.
Phiri, Selepe and Hattingh were Line Umpires during the qualifying tournament and Phiri and Selepe will be chair umpires during the Junior Championships next week.
This is Hattingh and Selepe’s first trip to officiate at Wimbledon. Selepe is amongst the first officials to officiate at the Championships whose from a disability background. He obtained his ITF White Badge Chair Umpire certification in Cape Town last year November, becoming South Africa’s first disabled official.
“I am so honoured to have been selected to work at Wimbledon” said Selepe. “This is the tournament of all tournaments and for an official to take to the grass courts and work the lines and umpire is really a dream come true.”