Many of SA's wheelchair bound tennis stars are putting themselves in good standing for the Paralympics this year as they shine at wheelchair champs.
South Africa impressed on the second day of the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) international wheelchair tennis tournament being played at the Gauteng East Tennis Centre on Saturday.
Spearheading the local challenge was women’s fourth seed KG Montjane, who made an early morning start to beat compatriot Rose van den Meer 6-1 6-1.
Montjane looked comfortable on court, despite her claim of “not being a morning person”, and the world number 13 dominated throughout the match.
In fact, Montjane has not lost a single match against a South African player since she began playing competitive tournament tennis in 2006 and plans to continue her dominance of South African wheelchair tennis this week.
“I was happy with my start to this week’s tournament,” she said. “I have yet to lose to a South African player and will work hard at keeping up my dominance.”
Montjane added that she hoped to do better in Benoni than the semi-final she reached at the South African Open last week in order to improve her world ranking and gain a better Paralympic seeding.
“I need to get higher on the world rankings. If I do that then I have less chance of meeting a top seed early in London. That will be important for me, as I really believe I can win a medal at the Paralympics for South Africa.”
Meanwhile, SA Open winner, Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany, may have to withdraw after a bicep injury flared up again in her match against Australian, Janel Manns.
Although top seeded Ellerbrock won the match in straight sets 6-1 6-3, the world number five said she was in a lot of pain during the match.
“I suffered a bicep rupture three weeks ago and received treatment for it,” Ellerbrock said.
“It was absolutely fine last week; didn’t give me any problems, but in the practice yesterday it flared up again.”
Ellerbrock received physiotherapy, but will only make a decision regarding her future in the tournament before her quarterfinal match against Christine Schoen of France on Sunday.
Montjane and Ellerbrock will be joined in Sunday’s quarterfinals by second seed Sharon Walraven of Netherlands and third seed Katharina Kruger, also of Germany. The second and third seeds also enjoyed straight sets wins in round two.
Men matching up
In the men’s singles, sixth seed Sydwell Mathonsi of South Africa beat Italian Luca Spano 6-1 6-4 to earn his spot in the last eight.
Mathonsi will now meet top seed Takashi Sanada of Japan in the quarter finals, just a week after Sanada knocked him out in round one of the ACSA SA Open at Ellis Park.
The South African will be seeking sweet revenge against the world number 10 ranked player, especially after a good straight sets result against Spano.
The only other seeded South African in the men’s singles, Evans Maripa, also won his second round match when he beat Zimbabwe champion Nyasha Mharakura, 6-3 6-1. The country’s number one ranked Mens Singles player will face fourth seed Daniel Rodrigues of Brazil in the quarter finals.
Meanwhile world number nine Quad Singles player, Lucas Sithole, cruised into the semi-final for a second successive week and will face unseeded Azman Hasan from Malaysia. The top seed here in Benoni, Sithole beat compatriot Bongani Dlamini in straight sets, 6-2 6-0.—Sapa