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Moodie plans next moves

By Mark Etheridge

Wesley Moodie is currently enjoying a well-earned two-week break away from the clay, grass and hard-court surfaces that earn him his daily bread as he plots his way forward for the rest of the year.

Our top-ranked South African doubles tennis player had another successful All-England Championships at Wimbledon, reaching the sem-finals of the men’s doubles category and then falling in the final of the mixed doubles competition.

Now it’s a time for re-grouping as he susses out his schedule for the rest of the year, with three Grand Slams under the belt and the remaining Grand Slam, the US Open, on the horizon, starting on August 30.

Summing up his year, Moodie said: “I was out with injury for two months before the start of the clay court season and felt I wasn’t playing well when I returned to the tour. But I then found my rhythm at the French┬áand played well, making two semi-finals in both the French Open and Wimbledon, although I really felt that losing in the semis of Wimbledon was a missed opportunity.

“I’ve compiled a good record in doubles at Wimbledon. I’ve won 19 matches and lost four {he won it in 2005}. Its good to feel a real contender for the title every year.”

The fast courts of Wimbledon are close to Moodie’s heart. “It’s definitely my favourite tournament, the tradition, prestige, atmosphere and surface – it also just so happens that the tennis event at the Olympics in 2012 will be played at Wimbledon.”

Indeed, Moodie is a key part of SASCOC’s ambitious plan of winning 12 medals at the 2012 Games in London.

So what’s next for Moodie. “Well, the ATP calendar is decided two years in a row so there’s plenty of time to plan a schedule. After this break I’ll play one or two tournaments in Europe and then take a short break before the US Open series.”

Moodie, 31, has done some experimenting with doubles partners, having teamed up with, among others, fellow South African Jeff Coetzee, Russian Mikhail Youzhny and his partner of the moment, Dick Norman of Belgium.

Just how does one go about selecting a doubles partner then? “Selecting a partner is a bit like trying to find a girlfriend, you ask for their number and see if they’re interested!… compatability it important but I think it depends largely on personality. Some guys look for the friendship whereas others can keep it all business. My current partner (Norman) I feel comfortable with him and I know Ill be playing with him until at least the end of the year — I don’t think much more about it than that.”

Moodie, a good junior, who won the Under-16 Masters tournament, reached his career high as a senior in 2005 when he was ranked 57. But a year later a bad knee injury saw him having to take a lot of time off and with his doubles going well he decided to concentrate on doubles and 2008 was his first year of mostly playing doubles.

What does he think of the future of SA’s young tennis stars. Based a large part of the year in London, makes it a tricky one to answer.┬á “Its hard for me to really comment on SA junior tennis, but I believe there are some good things happening, more ex-players are getting involved which is important.

“But because of the location of SA, there needs to be a good system in place which allows for transition from junior to pro tennis. The easy part is creating the player, the hard part is taking that 17-18-year-old player and helping them finding their feet on the pro tour. It takes lots of dedication, determination and most unfortunately money.”


1 comments
Wendy
Wendy

Interesting story - thanks! Wesley you make South Africa proud!

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  1. […] Posted by wendz on July 9, 2010 · Leave a Comment  Wesley Moodie was interviewed by Mark Etheridge for the SASCOC website. To learn more about this South African Davis Cup player who reached the final of the mixed doubles at Wimbldon this year please go to http://www.sascoc.co.za/2010/07/wimbledon-finalist-moodie-plans-his-next-moves/ […]