There has been some controversy regarding Kevin's decision to apply for a US green card and withdraw from the South African Davis Cup squad. Read from the man himself as to why he made the decision:
Anderson says why he cannot play Davis Cup
South African tennis player busy applying for a green card and cannot leave the US
DURBAN — South African tennis player Kevin Anderson has defended his decision to withdraw from the Davis Cup team for this weekend’s match against Slovenia and doubt remains as to whether he will represent the country in future ties.
Anderson, who is based in the US, is in the process of applying for an American green card and this means he cannot leave the country while the application is being processed.
SA suffered further blows with the withdrawal of world No124 Rik de Voest and ladies star Chanelle Scheepers for the Fed Cup, the women’s corresponding tournament.
SA’s bid for a place in the Davis Cup World Group for the first time since 1998 is at risk of falling at the first hurdle, unless the young and inexperienced squad can upset the Slovenians in Soweto. Also, none of SA’s top tennis players will be eligible to represent the country at the London Olympic Games in July.
International Tennis Federation rules stipulate that only players who have made themselves available for Davis Cup or Fed Cup action in two of the past four years will be eligible to compete in the games.
Anderson, who married an American last year, told Business Day that the green card would enable him to travel in and out of the US easier than with other visas.
"The main reason I withdrew from the Davis Cup is that I am in the process of applying for a green card, which takes three to four months," Anderson said. "During this time you are not allowed to leave the US.
"After three years I am eligible for citizenship, and I will most likely apply for dual citizenship. In order to play Davis Cup for another country you need to be a permanent citizen, not be a resident — which is what the green card offers."
Anderson rose to a career best world No28 ranking after winning the Delray Beach title in February — knocking out top Americans Andy Roddick and John Isner — for his second ATP career title.
"Every decision I have made thus far has been what is best for my career, on and off the court," he said. "I believe this has helped me get to where I am now and will help me get to where I want to get.
"Moving forward, I will have the same feelings, where if I can play Davis Cup I will, as long as it doesn't affect my schedule and is financially viable. I fully understand and support Chani’s (Chanelle Scheepers’s) position and decisions she has had to make along the way.
"Tennis is a tough sport, played far away from the home soil of SA …. We are forced to base ourselves in other countries. We unfortunately do not have the backing and support from Tennis SA and so therefore need to make decisions based on what is best for our careers."
While the Johannesburg-born star has consistently risen to prominence on the world tennis circuit over the past year, the game in SA has steadily suffered setbacks.
Last year, the South African Open was scrapped from the ATP tour calendar to ease the playing schedule and this year’s Sowetan Open was cancelled after the City of Johannesburg pulled its funding.
Tennis SA president Bongani Zondi said the organisation’s focus would be on developing more young and capable players who can carry the national flag in the absence of prominent stars.
He also dismissed Anderson’s claims that the organisation had failed to provide the necessary support to tennis players, adding that Tennis SA had always contributed to players’ expenses "even if the financial support was not 100%".
"I have told the (Tennis SA) board that we need to produce more players," Zondi said.
"We must have a pool of more than 10 players that play at the highest level, so that we don’t have headaches when we have situations such as the one we are facing.
"That is why we have even brought in young players for this weekend’s tie.
"We want to develop those players, even if we lose the tie; the bigger picture is that they will have gained valuable experience."