UPDATED PREVIEW: MONTJANE KICKS OFF U.S. OPEN CAMPAIGN ON THURSDAY
South Africa’s leading women’s wheelchair tennis player Kgothatso Montjane has been drawn to meet world number 8 Lucy Shuker from Britain in the US Open singles event at the USTA National Tennis Center in New York, USA on Friday.
Montjane kicks off her fourth US Open doubles campaign on Thursday with her American partner Dana Mathewson. The South African-American pair will face Dutch second seeds Marjolein Buis and Aniek van Koot for a place in the doubles final. Their match is scheduled second at Arthur Ashe Stadium with the first match starting at 1:00pm NYC time.
The 32-year-old Montjane will fancy her chances against Shuker, having won 10 of their 15 prior meetings on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour. The last time Montjane played Shuker was in the 2018 Swiss Open final which Montjane won in straight sets 7-5 6-2 and Friday’s match promises to be another enthralling encounter.
Montjane and Shuker will be meeting for the first time in Flushing Meadow.
“In Grand Slam tournaments you can’t take anyone for granted, so I will go into this match against Lucy Shuker with everything I have got. I have also played with Dana a few times, we play very well together and I know we will put up a fight against the second seeds on Thursday,” added Montjane.
Montjane, who is ranked number 6 at the US Open, was drawn in the same half as defending champion Yui Kamiji who will face world number 5 Marjolein Buis from the Netherlands.
If all goes according to plan, the Limpopo-born star who has a challenging draw ahead could potentially play the Japanese world number 2 Kamiji in the semi-final round.
Montjane lost to the former world number 1 Kamiji in the quarter-final round of last week’s US Open USTA Wheelchair Championships in St. Louis. Kamiji dominates their head-to-head wins leading 18-4 in the series.
Although Kamiji has won most competitions against Montjane, the two rivals are used to pushing each other to the limit, they clashed in a captivating quarter-final match last year at the Belgian Open which the Japanese former world number 1 won 3-6 6-2 7-5.
The Wimbledon semi-final Montjane, who was born with a congenital birth defect awaits the challenge and is already looking further ahead than the first round.
“My coach and I have put in the work, I had a great run in the US Open Super Series last week to prepare for the Grand Sam, so I am ready. I am confident if I stick to my game plan I will get good results. We are all here to do our best to win and I am hoping for best results,” said Montjane.