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Tennis | SA Tennis

Alwande Skhosana © Reg Caldecott

Local stars ready for Joburg Open

Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) are just four days away from hosting the two important international tournaments at Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Jabavu, Soweto and local stars are primed for the challenge.

The Joburg Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Level 2 event will kick start on Sunday, 2 July to 5 July in Jabavu and will be followed by Soweto Open, an ITF Futures tournament which will run from 7-10 July.

The ITF level 2 event which forms part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour will be staged in Soweto for the first time and has attracted a top entry locally and a few foreigners.

The two-time Grand Slam champion Lucas Sithole returned home on Monday from the French Open and is ready to put in a world-class showing with a hope to bag his first Joburg Open quads singles title. But the 30-year-old French Open semifinalist is not the only one with something at stake this week.

The country’s leading women’s player and world number 8 Kgothatso Montjane who recently clinched two titles in Korea Republic will be hoping to extend her winning streak but will have to get past Switzerland’s world number 1 junior Nalani Boub and her country-girl Mariska Venter.

Men’s world number 12 Evans Maripa who is targeting an ever higher seeding will take the courts over the next few days as he continues his climb up the rankings. The Israel open champion will face a challenge from compatriot Leon Els, Japanese world 28 Yoshinobu Fujimuto and sixteen-year-old Alwande Skhosana, arguably the next big player in wheelchair tennis.

"It is always exciting to have these tournaments at home. It gives us an opportunity to test ourselves against some of the world's best players and improve our global rankings. We are all ready and look forward to the coming two weeks of tennis. We all want the first prize, so the competition will be very tough,” commented Skhosana.


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