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International Wheelchair tennis returns to Mangaung

Mangaung is set to stage international wheelchair tennis tournament from 2-5 October 2016 as the Airports Company South Africa Bloem Open returns to the Oud Studente Tennis Club in Bloemfontein.

The international premier event which is the last tournament for the year will be contested in the singles and doubles draws in four categories, men, women, quads and juniors. Over 70 players have entered the four-day event which has attracted a strong Tanzanian interest.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures tournament which forms part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis tour is a crucial stepping stone for local and international players in gaining world ranking points, in order to improve their positions in the global list.

The country’s number 2 men’s player Leon Els, who recently represented South Africa at the Rio Paralympics in Brazil, will be aiming to continue his winning momentum and will also be hoping to secure his second title in Mangaung.

There will be an interesting contest, when Els’ biggest rival Marshall Marsh, rampant youngster Alwande Skhosana and Thato Tsomole who made a huge come-back early this in Soweto will be looking for good results in an international event on home soil.

In the women's event, Mariska Venter will be leading the country’s charge but her toughest competition at this event might be Thando Hlatswayo, who denied her a title in the Pretoria Open final in 2014. Or it could be a tricky customer, world number 2 junior Nokwanda Hlongwane.

In the quads division, Danny Mohlamonyane will enjoy keeping his opponents at bay in the absence of the country’s number 2 and reigning champion Bongani Dlamini.

Entry for spectators is free of charge.