21 January 2014 Tennis South Africa on Monday announced the South African team to take on Monaco in a Euro/Africa Zone Group 2 Davis Cup tie. The teams will meet at the Irene Country Club in Pretoria from 31 January to 2 February. With John-Laffnie de de Jager serving as captain, the South African team is Izak van der Merwe, Rik de Voest, Raven Klaasen, Ruan Roelofse and Nikala Scholtz. De Jager will be forced to trim the squad down to four players by the start of the tie, but he does at least have options, unlike when South Africa had to face Russia in Moscow in October with a team decimated by withdrawals. The highest ranked South African for that tie was Dean O’Brien, at number 529. He’s not among the five players from which De Jager will select his team.‘I am happy’ Despite South Africa’s top player Kevin Anderson not making himself available for the tie, De Jager will be able to welcome Izak van der Merwe back into the team. “I am happy that Izak has recovered from his injury and this can be a good start for him,” De Jager said of the injury that had sidelined the 2011 Soweto Open winner for many months. Ruan Roelofse has proved, according to De Jager, to be “a great all-round player that can play singles and doubles”, thus allowing the captain a number of good choices when naming his final four.Playing the best tennis of his career A key member of the team is the evergreen Raven Klaasen, the team’s doubles specialist. At the age of 31, he is currently playing the best tennis of his career. Ranked 45th in the world doubles ranking, Klaasen has reached the quarterfinals of the year’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, with his American partner Eric Butorac. The pair, who bagged three titles on the ATP World Tour in 2013, shocked top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan of the USA, the winners of 15 Grand Slam titles, in straight sets in the third round.‘A very experienced team’ “I am very happy with the team to face Monaco. It is a very experienced team I selected,” commented De Jager. “Rik, Raven and Izak have more than 20 years of Davis Cup experience between them. It is crucial for us to win this match because we want to be back in Group 1 in 2015.” “Irene Country Club is a great venue and we hope to get lots of support from the local tennis supporters.” Monaco will name their team on Wednesday. South Africa is 34th in the Davis Cup rankings, while Monaco occupies 59th place. SAinfo reporter In April of 2013 Van der Merwe suffered a chronic injury due to playing an excessive amount of tennis. ‘Preparing hard’ “I have not played any events since surgery [a small part of the heel bone was removed] on the 18th of April last year,” Van der Merwe said in a statement. “Davis Cup will be my first event back. I have been training for the last few months, preparing hard for this tie. “The recovery from my heel injury has been a slow process, but it has gone very well. Over the last few weeks I made great progress on the practice court. It has taken a lot of patience, but I look forward to getting back on the Davis cup team and competing on the ATP Tour,” he added. The tie will be a special one for Rik de Voest who will be playing international tennis for the first time at his home courts in Irene where he started the game at the age of five.‘It is going to be amazing’ “It is going to be amazing to play a Davis Cup tie at Irene Country Club,” he said. “I believe the exposure to international players and the national team will further benefit the development and interest in tennis at Irene. “Now nearing the end phase of my tennis career, and with my long history with the club, it’s going to be extra special to play a Davis Cup tie at the club where it all began for me.” Assessing his players, De Jager said De Voest and Van der Merwe were very good high altitude players and said Nikala Scholtz has also enjoyed success at altitude.
Hosts Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larsen dedicate over an hour each week to talking about film, from reviewing the latest indie and blockbuster releases, to discussing hidden gems from respected directors or encouraging their listeners to vote for their favorite cinematographer. There’s a lot to discover and plenty to learn from this genuinely film-loving podcast.Recommended Episode: # 570 — The Hateful Eight vs. The Revenant. In this particular episode, the hosts get into a heated discussion on style versus substance. Both hosts make compelling arguments for why each of the films hit or missed their mark.2. WTF With Marc MaronImage via IFC The Writers Panel from Nerdist is a traditional two-person interview podcast that brings in the industry’s top screenwriters and classic hollywood figures such as James L Brooks. These writers often talk about the process of screenwriting and the motivations behind said process. This podcast is perfect for anyone trying to step up their screenwriting game.Recommended Episode: #272 — Shane Black. In this episode, writer/director Shane Black discusses his latest film, The Nice Guys, as well as diving into some of his previous work like Lethal Weapon and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.4. No Film School In addition to being a great way to pass the time in traffic, these podcasts are loaded with entertaining real-world insight into the world of filmmaking.Top image via IFCPodcasts are an excellent use of time if you find yourself stuck in traffic, on a road trip, or even writing a paper. The TV & Film podcast category on iTunes features hundreds of choices, which can be quite overwhelming if you’re new to the world of podcasts. Though many are helpful and entertaining, a few stand out as a truly beneficial use of your time. Here are five of our favorites.1. FilmspottingImage via The Weinstein Company A fairly recent inclusion in the world of podcasts, No Film School features up-and-coming filmmakers discussing new ways and tips to get your produced and financed. The featured guests also dive into recent camera gear and tech they’re currently high on.Recommended Episode: Tribeca 2016 – Post Apocalyptic DIY Flick5. IndieWire: Screen TalkIndieWire’s chief film Critic Eric Kohn and film critic Anne Thompson discuss a wide a range of topics ranging from the newest independent releases to the latest film festival news. Occasionally these two also dive into industry talk and the state of independent film in today’s world. This podcast is excellent for anyone wanting to know more about indie filmmaking.Recommended Episode: Our Lessons from Cannes 2016Know of any other informative podcasts for filmmakers? Let us know in the comments! Although not technically a filmmaking podcast, Marc Maron’s in-depth, conversational interviews provide some of the best insight into what makes your favorite filmmakers tick. Whether he’s interviewing someone like Lynn Shelton or Rob Reiner, the hour-long interviews inevitably end up shedding some light on how they got to where they are and offer a look at their movie-making philosophies. Recommended Episode: #565 — Paul Thomas Anderson. Marc talks with PTA for nearly two hours about each film of the prolific filmmaker’s career. Paul Thomas Anderson also dives into why he shot The Master in 70mm. Fascinating.3. Writers Panel: A Nerdist PodcastImage via Nerdist