STRONG PERFORMANCE BY SOUTH AFRICA AT BNP PARIBAS WORLD TEAM CUP
South Africa's wheelchair tennis teams delivered a strong performance at the BNP Paribas World Team Cup in Turkey over the weekend, with Evans Maripa going undefeated in the men's singles.
The South African men’s team which comprised of Evans Maripa, Leon Els, Marshall Marsh competed in the World Group II division where they finished in the second position after they lost to Spain (ESP) on Saturday’s penultimate day of the 2015 BNP Paribas World Team Cup.
The team went on to face USA in the promotion/relegation tie match where they fought hard for a place in the World Group I, the highest level of competition in the game, which features the top 12 nations in the world. Maripa tried to put South Africa ahead when he dismantled Jon Rydberg, romping to a 6-3 2-6 6-0 victory, but the Americas levelled the tie when Steve Baldwin outplayed Marshall Marsh 6-1 7-6(2) and clinched the deciding doubles match clash to beat South Africa 2-1.
Former US Open champion Lucas Sithole together with Bongani Dlamini and Danny Mohlamonyane represented the country in the quads division where they showed good form, eliminating Great Britain 3-0 on the opening day of the event but were downed by Israel and Italy. The team clinched fifth position with a decisive 2-1 over Canada in the 5/6th place play-off.
The women's team of Kgothatso Montjane, Mariska Venter and Thando Hlatshwayo could not quite match the depth of some of the top nations and finished eighth in the open women's division. It was the first time both Venter and Hlatshwayo participated in the open women event at the World Team Cup .
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa director Holger Losch was very thrilled by the team’s performance. "It is always such an honour for the players to represent their country especially giving the new players an opportunity to play in the premier event on the wheelchair tennis calendar”. Said Losch
“We achieved the results we expected, and are elated that the up and coming players rose to the challenge, and held their own in both the singles and the doubles events. Our teams gave it all - they played with pride, passion and commitment knowing they are not only playing for themselves, but for a team, and a country”, Losch added.
Evans Maripa, Leon Els, Kgothatso Montjane, Mariska Venter, Thando Hlatshwayo, Lucas Sithole, and Bongani Dlamini have now headed to Korea for the Korea Open, the ITF 1 series event starting today which will be followed by the Daegu Open, also a grade 1 tournament from 09 to 13 June and ITF 2 Busan Open which will also be staged in Korea from 15 June - 18 June.
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa and Airports Company South Africa Partnership:
The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) is the official sponsor of Wheelchair Tennis South Africa and the sport of wheelchair tennis. Airports Company South Africa has contributed no less than R36-million to date and has committed to a continued investment in the sport as its flagship Corporate Social Investment programme.