RAMPHADI STUNS WORLD NO.4 TO REACH SARDINIA OPEN FINAL
Donald Ramphadi, South African rising quad player with no fear & a golden arm, blew away the world number 4, Sugeno Koji from Japan in straight-sets to reach the finals on his Sardinia Open debut in Italy on Friday.
The 25-year-old Ramphadi who hails from Tzaneen in Limpopo produced a stunning display to end the BNP Paribas Open de France reigning champion Koji’s remarkable run with an exhilarating 6-4 6-1 in Alghero to book a place in his first International Tennis Federation (ITF) 1 final.
Koji has been in a great form this season upsetting world number 1 American David Wagner in the BNP Paribas Open de France semi-final and edging out world number 3 Brit’s Andy Lapthorne in the final of the same tournament, but the South African proved to be his downfall.
"It's difficult to say how I was feeling during the match. It was extremely hard physically and mentally, Sugeno Koji is a fighter and I knew I had to put up a fight to win against him. I'm just so happy to come out with the win,” said Ramphadi following the match.
The in-form Ramphadi will face the US Open doubles champion Lapthorne from Britain in the quads final on Saturday. Lapthorne defeated Dutchman Sam Schroder 7-5 6-3 who saw off Lucas Sithole in the quarter-final round on Thursday.
Ramphadi produced the same scintillating level of tennis earlier this year at the BNP Paribas World Team cup in the Netherlands which saw him stage a massive challenge against world number 5 Australian Heath Davidson.
Ramphadi and doubles partner Lucas Sithole are in the quads doubles final. The unseeded South African duo defeated second seeds Anders Hård from Sweden and Antonio Raffaele from Italy 6-1 6-4 on Thursday afternoon to set up a final blockbuster clash with British top seeds Antony Cotteril and Andy Lapthorne.
Later in the day, top seed Kgothatso Montjane staged a fight against her biggest rival Marjolein Buis from the Netherlands in the women’s semi-final round.
The US Open semi-finalist Montjane, who had lost 27 matches against the Dutch world number 9 in their previous 28 encounters, fought hard but fell to the former world number 3 in a grueling 7-6(5) 3-6 6-3after more than three hours on court.
“I went out there and tried my best, but I battled with my wrist. It was unfortunate I couldn’t convert the first set, so I am disappointed about that. I had an option to pull out due to the painful wrist but I just pushed myself” commented Montjane.