SEEDS AND DRAW ANNOUNCED FOR SA OPEN
The seeds and draw for this week’s SA Open, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, were announced on Sunday.
The tournament, a Super Series event, will be staged in Johannesburg at the Ellis Park Tennis Stadium from April 10, with the finals scheduled for April 14.
South Africa’s leading men’s player Evans Maripa drew a difficult quarter-final round opponent in world number one Stephane Houdet from France and complicates his chances at Ellis Park again this year. The 26-year-old Limpopo star bowed out of the first round in last year’s event to the three-time SA Open champion Houdet.
Maripa has a bye in round one and will play the winner of the match between Ishmael Tshipuke and Ian Snyman.
South African women’s world number ten Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montjane will meet compatriot Mariska Venter in the opening round but drew a challenging second-round opponent in Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock — who has finished as a runner-up in the SA Open for the past three years.
In the quads draw, the country’s top ace Lucas Sithole, who is bidding for a second SA Open title has been handed a dream draw and takes on Michael Mahlanya in his opener. The world number four Sithole can look forward to a strong final challenge in world number five Itay Erenlib from Israel, should the seedings play out as expected.
SA Open seeds:
1-Stephane Houdet FRA (1 World Ranking)
2-Joachim Gerard BEL (2)
3-Gordon Reid GBR (3)
4-Nicholas Peifer FRA (5)
5-Alfie Hewett GBR (6)
6-Stefan Olsson SWE (7)
7-Evans Maripa RSA (14)
1-Diede de Groot NED (3)
2-Marjolein Buis NED (4)
3-Aniek van Koot NED (5)
4-Sabine Ellerbrock GER (6)
1-Lucas Sithole RSA (4)
2-Itay Erenlib ISR (5)