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Els, van der Meer and Dlamini hope to defend their titles at the Airports Company South Africa Soweto Open 2014

The Airports Company South Africa Soweto Open, sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF),is a future level event on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis World Tour. The tournament runs from Saturday 28 June 2014 to Tuesday 1 July 2014.

A total of 84 players will take part in the Airports Company South Africa Soweto Open, with the majority of players being from our regional programmes. The focus for this event is to give as many South African players as possible the opportunity to gain world ranking points and experience.

The Men's event will be a closely contested battle between Leon Els (RSA) Patrick Selepe (RSA) and Nico Langmann (AUT). Other players to watch are Mzwanele Thientsi (RSA) Ishmael Tshipuke (RSA) and Mayenzeke Gwija (RSA).

The women's draw will see defending champion Rose van der Meer (RSA) Mariska Venter, (RSA), Thando Hlatshwayo (RSA) and Mabel Mankgele(RSA) take to the courts. There are only a few ranking points difference between these top two ladies and a win will not only secure the title and trophy but also the prestige of being SA's no.2 ranked ladies player.

In the junior's division we are truly blessed with talent. In the girls division Mariska Venter (RSA) and Thando Hlatswayo who are ranked no.2 and 3 in the world respectively are expected to deliver top class tennis to contend for the title. In the junior boys division defending champion Gift Lekhanyane (RSA) has matured to the men's division with the talented Thato Tsomole (RSA), the firm favourite to take the title and trophy this year.

Karen Losch, Manager of Wheelchair Tennis South Africa says, "Future level events such as the Airports Company South Africa Soweto Open offer a perfect environment to introduce new talent to international competitions, and provide them with valuable competitive experience." Losch added," We look forward to using this opportunity to identify and develop talent, and grow the sport of Wheelchair Tennis on the global front."

Players to look out for in the Airports Company South Africa Open are:
MEN's Division: WOMEN's Division:
Name and Surname SA Rank World Rank Name and Surname SA Rank WR
Leon Els 2 44 Rose van der Meer 2 32
Patrick Selepe 3 61 Mariska Venter 3 35
Nico Langmann AUT 72 Thando Hlatshwayo 4 48
Mzwanele Thientsi 5 95 Mabel Mankgele 5 60

JUNIOR's Division: QUAD's Division:
Name and Surname SA Rank Name and Surname SA Rank WR
Mariska Venter 1 Bongani Dlamini 2 17
Thando Hlatswayo 2 Danny Mohlamonyane 3 52
Thato Tsomole 3 Queen Nhlapo 4 53
Sean de Hilster 4

The Airports Company South Africa Soweto Open will be taking place at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Soweto from 28 June – 1 July 2014. This is a Future series event sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), and is also one of the events on the ITF World Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

Venue: Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium,
Jabavu,
Soweto,
Johannesburg

Time: 09h00-16h00 daily
Entry : Free – All welcome

Participation in local and international tournaments like these is made possible by the generous sponsorships offered by Airports Company South Africa, the official sponsor of the sport.

For more information, please contact Bianca Morkel Tel: 083 386 4002 or Siyabulela Nkachela 082 679 3772 or email Bianca on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Siya on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Other resources worth a visit include: www.tennis.co.za; join our Facebook page and group: Wheelchair Tennis SA and follow us on Twitter: @WCTennis.