BUSY SKED FOR TOP WHEELCHAIR TENNIS ACES
The country’s top wheelchair tennis stars, Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montjane, Evans Maripa and Lucas Sithole jets off this week to kick off a busy schedule in Europe.
World number three quads player Lucas Sithole will begin his tour at the Swiss Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 1 tournament, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour starting from 12 - 16 July 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Sithole came short in the finals in Geneva against former world number one American David Wagner at the same event in 2014 but played with passion to win the Swiss Open quad’s doubles title with partner Wagner, and then the first ever mixed doubles title of his career with compatriot Kgothatso Montjane. The 29-year-old hopes to make his visit back to Switzerland a winning one.
Lucas Sithole will move on to the next tournament and will be joined by Evans Maripa, the country’s top men’s ace at the German Open, an ITF level 2 event which runs between 20 and 24 July 2016 in Berlin, Germany.
Kgothatso Montjane, who is presently world number nine in the women’s division will start her challenge in the Belgium Open, an ITF level 1 event in Jambes, Belgium from 20 to 24 July.
Montjane will be looking for another win in James after she clinched a doubles title last year with partner Whiley Jordanne from Britain and finished in the semi-final round following her loss against Jordanne.
Aside from competing in Switzerland, Germany and Belgium – the tournaments that gathers most of the world’s top players – the three will go on to represent the country at the British Open, an ITF Super Series event, one of the only six tournaments staged globally. The event will be played at Nottingham in Great Britain from 26 to 31 July.
Sithole became the first African to win a wheelchair tennis Super Series title in 2013 when he beat former world number one American David Wagner 7- 5, 6-7, 6-4 to claim the quads singles title at the British Open and went on to record his second title in Nottingham after demolishing Brit’s Andy Lapthorne in 2015.
Participation in these events is made possible by a generous sponsorship from Airports Company South Africa, the official sponsor of the sport in South Africa.