MONTJANE GAINS REVENGE, SITHOLE SAILS INTO JAPAN OPEN SEMIS
South Africa's leading wheelchair tennis women's player Kgothatso 'KG' Montjane gained revenge for her North West Challenge defeat by sweeping past American world number 14 Dana Mathewson on Thursday and into the quarter-finals of the Japan Open.
Montjane lost to the 26-year-old Mathewson in the finals of the North West Challenge tournament, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 3 event in Britain in February this year but she had her sights set firmly on victory for their rematch in the ITF Super Series tournament in Iizuka.
The eighth seed Montjane very much had her game face on and had won the opening set with little trouble but the American challenged her to win the second set in a tie break to level the score at one-set-all. However, Montjane came back to take charge and asserted her authority to take the deciding set to advance into the quarter-final round.
The world number 10 avenged her only loss against the American with a 6-4 6-7(6) 6-1 win and next meets her doubles partner, world number 3 Diede De Groot from the Netherlands for a place in the last four, who saw off Momoko Ohtani of Japan.
Earlier in the day, fourth seed Lucas Sithole, 2014 Japan Open champion, had little trouble sweeping aside world number 6 Kyu-Seung Kim from Korea Republic with a ruthless 6-0 6-4 to advance into the semi-final round.
South African world number 4 Sithole, who seeks his second Japan Open title next meets American world No. 2 David Wagner who is hunting his eighth title in Iizuka. The 30-year-old hopes to make a repeat of 2014 when he ended Wagner’s sequence of seven successive Japan Open titles.