MONTJANE THROUGH BUT MARIPA FALLS AT FIRST HURDLE IN AUSSIE
South African world number 7 women’s ace Kgothatso Montjane eased through to the quarter-finals of the Sydney Open Super Series tournament, meanwhile the country’s leading men’s player Evans Maripa fell at the first hurdle to world number 5 Nicolas Peifer of France on Tuesday in Australia.
Montjane, the number seven seed, won her second-round match against Zhenzhen Zhu from China in straight sets 6-4 7-5 and avenged her loss to the Chinese at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
“I am very pleased to start my campaign here in Australia with a straight sets win,” commented Montjane.
“It wasn’t an easy match, Zhenzhen Zhu is a tricky opponent but being focused and playing my game worked it all out for me.
The 31-year-old will next face world number 2 Diede de Groot from the Netherlands on Thursday for a place in the last two. De Groot whitewashed Saki Takamuro from Japan 6-0 6-0 to set up a date with Montjane.
In the men’s event, South African world number 12 Evans Maripa’s Sydney Open hopes vanished into thin air on Tuesday when he lost in the second round to world number 5 Frenchman Nicolas Peifer.
The 27-year-old from Limpopo slumped to a 6-1 6-4 loss to the Frenchman in the second round, 24 months after also falling at the first hurdle in Sydney.
“One always gets to learn a lot playing against a top ranked and good player like Peifer – It was a tough match and it gave me something to go back home and work on,” said Maripa.
The country’s quad ace Lucas Sithole, seeded number 3 in the tournament will open his campaign on Thursday against Shota Kawano from Japan. The two met eight times and Sithole won all encounters – So, if all goes according to plan, Sithole will meet world number 3 Dylan Alcott from Australia in the semi-final round.