Wheelchair Tennis South Africa are just a week away from hosting the Airports Company South Africa, Joburg Open at the Grand Old Lady of South African tennis, Ellis Park Tennis Stadium. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 3 event which forms part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour will be held from 14-17 December 2015. The season-ending event has attracted a top entry locally and a few foreigners and will allow all the local players an opportunity of gaining all important world ranking points and a chance of qualifying for 2016 Paralympics (7-18 Sep) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Already confirmed as entered are the country men’s top ranked player Evans Maripa (ranked number 16 in the world), and NEC Masters runner-up Lucas Sithole who will be participating in the men’s draw. Mariska Venter (South African number two in the women’s division) will be flying the flag in the absence of the top ranked player Kgothatso Montjane and Bongani Dlamini will be heading the quads draw. They will be joined by international stars representing Austria, Tanzania, Japan, Turkey and Israel.
Other notable entries include men’s world number 14 Japanese star Takuya Miki, Amir Levi of Israel who is no stranger to South Africa. In the women’s division, Mauritius Open champion Mariska Venter will meet her rival Christine Schoenn of France who will be looking for another title after she secured two titles in South Africa early this year. Wheelchair Tennis South Africa General Manager Karen Losch says: ‘Ellis Park is a truly historic venue and will once again host another international tournament. We look forward to being the host to the best of the best wheelchair tennis players and we more excited that our players will be taking on court for title honours against some international players.’
The tournament will have men’s, women’s, quads and junior division each comprising of singles and doubles draw. The tournament draw takes place on Sunday, 13 December with the opening round starting at 09:00 on Monday morning.
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images