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Brilliant Results as South Africa Reaches Semi-finals at World Team Cup

The South African men’s team reached the wheelchair tennis ITF World Team Cup semi finals in the World Men’s II group. This is a first for South Africa in addition to hosting an event of this stature. The annual event is the most prestigious tournament on the wheelchair tennis calendar and has attracted over 300 players from 34 nations.

In the men doubles Evans Maripa and team mate Sydwell Mathonsi flexed their muscles against the Canadians, Phillippe Bedard and Corey Blatchford in their deciding match in the quarter finals - delayed due to bad light last night (Wednesday 27 April). In the first set the crowd was hushed as the South Africans lost 4-6. The South Africans, both known for their big serves and powerful play were not going to be held down for long, proving they were a match for Canada with a score of 6-3 in the second. The nail biting final set went to a tie breaker with the players in green and gold fighting for every point managing a 4-6 6-3 7-6 score to seal a place in the semifinals, becoming the first South Africans to reach this stage of a World Team Cup. The semifinals will be played later today (Thursday 28 April, 2011) against Japan.

In the women’s division team South Africa put up a great fight against Chile. Rose van der Meer played Francisca Mardones and Kgothatso Montjane faced Marie Antonieta Ortiz. Van der Meer pulled out all the stops but Mardones prevailed 6-3 6-1. Montjane remained focused after she lost a tight first set 6-7. In the second, Montjane bounced back taking the set 6-3 and won the third set with ease 6-0. The players came face to face in the doubles match against Mardones and Oritz with results still pending.

In a commanding position against Zimbabwe Gift Lekganyane played Sheppered Banda winning in three sets, 4-6 6-3 6-0. Team mate Donald Ramphadi stamped his authority against Brian Mafuvise on the match taking it 6-0 6-2. The doubles saw the Zimbabweans faced the same fate with Ramphadi and team mate Mabel Mankgele winning 6-3 7-5. The win secures them seventh place in the World Team Cup, 2011.

Holger Losch, tournament director said, “The main sponsors of the event, Airports Company South Africa, Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa, and City of Tshwane can be really proud of our players. They have fared well to reach the semifinals and this is a first for our men. We are extremely proud of Sydwell and Evans, and our entire team. We are urging the public to join us to support our teams in the remaining days of the World Team Cup until 01 May. It’s not only about celebrating the game but supporting their entire nation in pursuit of victory.”

Published by The BLD Group