Maripa Upsets World #8

South African top wheelchair tennis ace Evans Maripa surprised more than a few people with his upset win over world number eight Japanese Takashi Sanada at the ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis tournament in Ahoy Rotterdam, Netherlands on Wednesday.  The 25-year-old demolished his best friend and doubles partner Sanada 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to record his third win against the Japanese and to set up a quarter-final clash against world number five Gordon Reid of Britain.  Maripa says:  ‘This is a huge win for me and I knew I had to work hard after being awarded the wild card.  This serves as a great motivation to keep pushing and keeping my dreams alive of breaking into the top 10.  I look forward to Thursday’s challenge against Gordon Reid who I have never beaten in the two encounters we met.  So I will be hoping to turn the tables.  After going down in the doubles with Sanada I knew I had to make a difference in the singles and I am very excited and proud of my performance.’

The number 16-ranked South African was awarded a wild card entry by tournament director Esther Vergeer, completing the roster of participants for the top flight world tournament.  Maripa showed a steadiness and consistency that the more experienced world number eight lacked on Wednesday.  Coach Holger Losch says:  ‘Evans played a very solid match, he was very focused and after he lost the opening set he raised his level of play and took the other two sets and eventually won the match.  We are very proud of him and hope he keeps working hard.  This was a big win for him, another top 10 scalp and a great performance.’

Photo credit: Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images