Words & Photo: Bianca Morkel
Kgothatso Montjane, Evans Maripa and Bongani Dhlomo produced top of the drawer performances to clinch the singles and doubles titles in their various categories to confirm their standing at the top.
Kgothatso Montjane completed an emphatic week with a 6-0 6-2 routing of Mariska Venter in a match that was epitomized by Montjane’s world-class showing. Despite the pressure and scurrying for points by Venter, she however was outclassed in every departmentby a player ranked 27 places above her.
Mariska Venter’s star has been on the rise in recent times only to fall at the last hurdle to Rose van der Meer and now Montjane, she will however relish future prospects in 2014 where it is hoped that she will be one of the torch bearers along with Montjane. In the women’s doubles category, Montjane partnered Rose van der Meer in a 6-2 6-1 drubbing of Thando Hlatswayo and Mabel Mankgele.
The swift pushing and men’s top seed Evans Maripa put up a merciless performance against fellow countryman, Marshall Marsh in the finals. The match was set to showcase the depth of the men’s team ahead of the World Team Cup next year. Marsh has shown a recent upsurge in his game and has weathered the strong winds to upset players in the top four, it was however not to be against the seasoned and nomadic Maripa who confirmed his return to the event he won in 2012 with an ousting of the latter in a 6-0 6-2 scoreline. Maripa later teamed up with Donald Ramphadi, to complete a brace of his own beating Leon Els and Marshall Marsh 6-4 6-3.
Bongani Dhlamini wrapped up a tournament of braces with a 6-4 6-3 win over first time finalist Danny Mohlamonyane. Mohlamonyane has been the toast at the Airports Company South Africa Strand Open via the ousting of two top players; Dhlamini though was not to be denied in completing a grand slam of victories in South Africa. After a stuttering first eight games in the first set, Dhlamini was adamant to show who is boss by shooting to a 5-4 lead before clinching the opening set 6-4. The second set was marred by unforced errors from the novice and Dhlamini saw out his 4thvictory this year with a 6-4 6-3 win. Dhlamini would then call upon Steven Kekai in their doubles battle against Mohlamonyane and David Mathebula, the former team won 6-2 4-6 6-4 in a see-saw battle that could have gone either way.
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa and Airports Company South Africa Partnership:
Airports Company South Africa is the official sponsor of Wheelchair Tennis South Africa. The company is committed to a continued investment in the sport as its flagship Corporate Social Investment programme and through this partnership the company hopes to produce more achievers like Lucas, Kgothatso and Evans Maripa ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games and beyond. Airports Company South Africa would like to encourage more young people to be inspired by the players’ achievement and get involved in the sport.
For more information, please contact Bianca MorkelTel: 083 386 4002 or Siyabulela Nkachela 082 679 3772 or email Bianca on or Siya on . Other resources worth a visit include: www.tennis.co.za; or join our Facebook page and group: Wheelchair Tennis SA and follow us on Twitter: @WCTennis.