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South Africans Win 2 out of 3 at the Wheelchair Tennis Johannesburg Open

The finals of the Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) Airports Company South Africa Johannesburg Open was jam-packed with action today (Thursday, 15 December, 2011). The final tournament of the year saw competitors from five countries; Britain, Austria, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa; battle it out for 4 days. The South African players rolled away with the women’s and quads tournament titles.

In the tightly contested final of the men’s division, South Africa’s No.1, Sydwell Mathonsi, ranked No.36 internationally, faced No.40 Alexander Jewitt from Britain. The first of three sets went to Jewitt 6-2, but Mathonsi fought back winning the second set 6-4. In the third set Mathonsi’s efforts to dominate were plagued by too many double faults and despite being up 4-3 he failed to maintain traction, losing 4-6. Commenting on his performance, a disappointed Mathonsi said, “Unfortunately my serve was not going in no matter what I tried and it cost me the match.”

In an all South African women’s final Celia du Toit faced Rose van der Meer. Both Pretoria ladies showed great promise and the evenly contested match went to three sets. Van der Meer’s first set was marked by precise shots and a cool head that saw her triumph 6-4 but despite many games going to deuce, du Toit proved the stronger player, winning the second and third sets 6-3 6-4.

The quads division saw unseeded teenager, Donald Ramphadi, make quick work of his opponent David Mathebula, the tournaments No.2 seed. Mathebula was no match for the youngster taking only one game off him; Ramphadi won 6-1 6-0.

WTSA’s tournament director and coach, Holger Losch said: “The South African players have worked tremendously hard this year and did well against their international counterparts in this tournament. Without exception, we’re really proud of their guts, determination and courage. This tournament has been a great platform for our players to fight for a better international standing to qualify for the 2012 Paralympics.”

Participation in local and international tournaments such as these is made possible by the generous sponsorships offered by Airports Company South Africa, the official sponsor of the sport. Airports Company South Africa has contributed no less than R14-million to date and has committed to a continued investment in the sport as its flagship CSI project.

Published by The BLD Group