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Maripa sets up clash against world No1 in Rotterdam
- Updated: February 16, 2017
South Africa’s top male wheelchair tennis player, Evans Maripa, produced a master class performance, upsetting the world No11, Tom Egberink from the Netherlands, to reach the quarter-final round of the ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on Wednesday night.
The world No14 caused a huge upset by toppling the Dutchman with a stunning 6-1, 0-6, 6-1 thriller in a round of 16 clash. The win marks the first time Maripa has beaten Egberink in their six encounters.
Maripa next faces world No1 Stephane Houdet from France. The 26-year-old from Limpopo needs to find inspiration in his second meeting with the French star. He offered a challenge to Houdet, but lost 1-6 5-7 in the 2014 Sardinia Open.
Maripa surged to a 4-1 lead and looked to be in complete control in the opening set, as Egberink found it hard to keep up with Maripa’s dazzling pace and closed the set 6-1. The Dutchman managed to fight back in the second set when he produced a remarkable 6-0 to take it to a deciding set.
The South African star came back strongly and started showing his brilliance once more in the deciding set when he raced to a 3-0 lead. Egberink tried to reduce the gap, taking the next game to 4-1, but Maripa proved too strong when he wrapped up the set with a thrilling 6-1 score to book a place in the last eight.
‘I’m very happy to win my match today,’ Maripa said. ‘It was a challenging match and playing Tom is never easy, but I’m glad I pulled through.’
Maripa said he will go into the quarter-final match against Houdet with confidence and will stick to his game plan. ‘Stephane is a very good player and a tricky customer to play against, but following today’s match I will give it my best shot and stick to my game plan,’ added Maripa.
Picture of Maripa courtesy of Hannie Verhoeven