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Early season success for Montjane and Maripa
- Updated: January 14, 2015
South African wheelchair tennis Paralympian players, Kgothatso Montjane and Evans Maripa grabbed the seasoning opening event, the Queensland Open, in Brisbane, Australia where they clinched both the men’s and women’s singles titles at the weekend.
The tournament, an ITF 2 Series event, on the 2015 UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour was characterised by extreme heat, forcing the event to run late into the night at times, something the South Africans cherished based on the current heat wave in South Africa.
Maripa overcame extreme humidity and heat to bag a first career win over Japan’s world No8 Takashi Sanada after an outstanding duel in which Maripa collapsed to a 1-6 loss in the first set.
The South African then strung a few games together in the second set before fending off the challenge from the Japanese seasoned player. It ended 1-6 6-3 7-5 in favour of Maripa and handed the 24-year-old a second victory over a top 10 player, and a new career high ranking of world No13.
Montjane ensured a brace of victories for the SA contingency in the women’s albeit with less turbulence and drama.
The finals saw the first set being decided in a tie breaker against the world No10 Lucy Shuker (GBR). Montjane’s confidence soared to new levels in the second set as she rallied her way to the singles title Down Under with a 7-6 (4) 6-2 scoreline and in the process moved her to No8 world ranking.
Montjane and Shuker buried the hatchet after their singles duel to oust Charlotte Famin of France and Katharina Kruger of Germany 6-3 6-1 in the women’s doubles, decisive round-robin contest.
A clearly elated Montjane and upbeat Maripa will be hoping to continue the winning streak at the next stop of the tour in Sydney, Australia for a Super Series event. This event, the Sydney Open Wheelchair Tennis Open got underway on Monday.