20 March 2014
South African Davis Cup tennis captain John-Laffnie de Jager has been appointed president of the Global Professional Tennis Coaches Association (GPTCA).
The organisation, which is affiliated to the ATP World Tour, is dedicated to improving the performance of tennis coaches to enable them to help aspiring pro players and take world-class tennis to an even a higher level.
‘A career highlight’
“To be chosen by such peers as their president is indeed a career highlight and something of which I am extremely proud,” De Jager told the South African Press Association (Sapa) on Tuesday. He is the first South African to be elected GPTCA president.
“De Jager’s vast knowledge of tennis at a professional and grass-roots level, his experience as a Davis Cup captain and ability as a past player of note were all products of his passion and dedication to the game,” the GPTCA said in a statement.
“His admirable and enthusiastic attitude regarding all aspects of tennis are recognised by colleagues and players alike.
“The main goal of the GPTCA is to expose coaches and players to developments of the game at the highest level – and, with this in mind, De Jager has been in the forefront.”
Apart from being South Africa’s Davis Cup captain, De Jager coaches two of the world’s leading doubles teams, Poland’s Marcin Matkowski and Mariusz Fyrstenburg and the Dutch-Romanian pair of Julien Rojer and Horia Tecan.
He also coaches the Springfield Lasers in the United States’ World Team Tennis event. In 2013, he helped them reach the final of the competition.
De Jager excelled as a doubles player on the ATP World Tour, reaching a career high ranking of number 11. In mixed doubles, he contested the 1995 French Open and the 1997 Australian Open finals. In total, he won seven career doubles titles and finished as a runner-up 12 times.
In the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, De Jager and his partner David Adams made it to the semi-finals where they lost to the Canadian pair of Sebastien Lareau and Daniel Nestor, whom they had beaten earlier in the competition.
In the end the South African pair narrowly missed out on a medal, losing to Alex Corretja and Albert Costa of Spain in three sets in the playoff for the bronze medal.