Team effort essential for Madibaz tennis success
The Madibaz tennis team, having gained promotion to the A section, know that a committed team effort will be essential when they compete in the University Sport South Africa tournament next month. The annual event takes place in Stellenbosch from December 2 to 6 and the Nelson Mandela University outfit will be one of six teams competing in the top-flight after earning promotion in 2018. Coach Hennie de Klerk said they were under no illusions about the challenge which lay ahead. "We are certainly going in with the mindset of winning some of our matches," he said. "But we also understand how difficult it will be against the established tennis varsities of Free State, Potchefstroom, Pretoria and Stellenbosch, who all have serious depth. "We don't have any individual stars and our approach will be to adopt a focused team effort. Winning the tight matches during the week will be the key to us having some success in the A section." He added that the record of the Free State team, who had won the title for the past 11 years, was an indication of the tough matches they would face in the Western Cape. "So we will be under pressure against some quality teams each day, but we are keen to take this opportunity to test ourselves against the best. "Our fitness and mental conditioning, with a never-say-die approach, will be key elements for us during the week. In addition, emotional control and team support will be important factors." De Klerk said the Madibaz players competed in the local leagues and also sharpened their game with regular training sessions at the South Campus courts. Players also had access to the university gym for conditioning sessions, he added. Teams will consist of six men and six women, with four singles matches per gender and two doubles matches per gender. Each tie will be completed by two mixed doubles matches, with the only restriction being that a player may not participate in more than two disciplines.