South African wheelchair tennis quad players Bongani Dlamini and Danny Mohlamonyane secured their first major international doubles title of the season at the Be’er Sheba Open in Israel on Friday. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 3 event which forms part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis tour saw the South African pair demolish Haim Lev and Alexander Izrailov both from Israel in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 to record their first doubles title of the year when the tournament ended last week. Both Dlamini and Mohlamonyane finished in the semi-final round in the quads singles tournament but the 34-year-old Dlamini said this was their great performance.
Dlamini says: ‘We have been training very hard with Danny and we both told ourselves that we have to bring something back home. This was definitely one of our best performances as a team and also finishing in the semi-final round in the singles.’ The two now return home for the forthcoming top-flight international tournaments where they will be playing in the quads singles and doubles. The events which will see the world’s top wheelchair tennis players battle it out for world ranking points ahead of the Paralympic cut off in May will once again be the talk of the town for the tennis fraternity.
The South Africa Open, an ITF level 1 event to be staged in Benoni from 30 March – 3 April and followed by the SA Open, an ITF Super Series event which will be played at the “Grand Old Lady” of tennis, Ellis Park in Johannesburg from 5 – 9 April. There are only six Super Series events on the calendar globally; the other five are staged in Australia, Japan, France, Britain and the USA.
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott