EVANS MARIPA TARGETS BETTER WORLD RANKING
South Africa’s leading wheelchair tennis men’s player Evans Maripa improved his world ranking from number 16 to 13 this season but is targeting an ever higher seeding as he chases more trophies in next week’s upcoming tournaments in Asia and Europe.
The Limpopo star who was born with a congenial birth defect (double amputee below the knees) will begin his run at the Israel Open from 15-19 May in Ramat Hasharon, Israel. Maripa will return to Ramat Hasharon to reclaim his doubles title that he won in 2015 with Marc Mccarroll from Britain and to better his singles semi-final finish.
After the Israel Open, the 26-year-old will move on to participate in the VINCI Wheelchair Czech Open in Czech Republic from 24-28 May and play in the Plock Orlen Polish Open in Poland from 30 May – 03 June before he returns home.
Maripa’s eye-catching performance at last month’s SA Open in Johannesburg reaching the men’s singles quarter-finals and doubles semi-finals have restored faith that he could recapture the world number 11 position and possibly break into the top 10. A goal that will be strengthened if he wins the upcoming International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 2 tournaments.
“I need to build my confidence on this tournaments because I feel that my game needs that. I play well but I need to start winning these tournaments to boost my ranking so I can break into the top 10 and play against the big guns,” commented Maripa.
Maripa added: “I have been training very hard and I believe I can return to number 11 and even better get into the top 10. I'm happy with the way I'm playing at the moment. It's been a great few months for me, to mention but a few, defeating former world number 9 Tom Egberink in February this year and reaching the SA Open quarter-finals. I'll try to finish the coming weeks as best I can."
There is no denying that Maripa is starting to prove that he is more than a number 13 by putting together a string of solid performances. During his match against world number 11 Tom Egberink from the Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands in February this year there was no denying that the South African deserved a top 10 spot as his forehand was firing on all cylinders, smashing winners left, right and centre past the Dutchman.