Next stop France for tennis champs
Kgothatso Montjane and Lucas Sithole, two of South Africa’s most successful wheelchair tennis players, are off to try their luck in France.
After a two-month break since the completion of the Airports Company South Africa SA Open at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Montjane jets off today to begin her two-week tour in France.
The 30-year-old from Limpopo will begin her excursion at the Toyota Open International de L’ile de Re, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 1 tournament, part of the Uniqlo Wheelchair Tennis Tour starting on June 14.
Montjane last year teamed up with Emmanuelle Morch to win the Toyota Open women’s doubles title, defeating Dutch pair Marjolein Buis and Diede de Groot in the final.
The world number nine women’s tennis ace showed great composure, but finished as a semifinalist in the women’s singles after going down to second seed Sabine Ellerbrock. But she wants to avenge that loss. “I have worked very hard, and I can confidently say that I am physically and mentally strong. I am focused and motivated.
“Spending time at home with family helps to align one’s focus. For me, it’s always the best recharge. So I look forward to the challenge in France.”
After the ITF 1 event, Montjane (or KG as she is fondly known) will move on and be joined by quads world number three Lucas Sithole at the French Open Super Series tournament, which takes place in Paris from June 21-26.
Like KG, Sithole, a triple amputee from Newcastle in Kwazulu-Natal, has spent the past two months preparing for the muchanticipated Super Series tournament.
The 29-year-old will be hunting another victory in Paris after he captured his first French Open title with Australian Dylan Alcott in the doubles competition in 2015.
In the singles event, former world number one David Wagner from the US dashed the South African world number three’s hopes of bringing another trophy home when he toppled Sithole 6-1 6-4 in the semifinal round.
“It’s always great playing in the French Open, though it’s always tough with all the top-10 ranked players participating. But it’s the challenge that makes it more exciting.
“I have had enough time to rest and put more work on court, so I feel very strong and confident going to France,” Sithole said.
I have worked very hard, and I can confidently say that I am physically and mentally strong. I am focused and motivated KGOTHATSO MONTJANE I have had enough time to rest and put more work on court, so I feel very strong and confident going to France LUCAS SITHOLE
ON FIRE Athlete Irvette van Zyl is having a blast of a year
AMBASSADOR Lucas Sithole is leading by example as South Africa’s top male wheelchair tennis player