It was a good day at the office for South Africa’s wheelchair tennis stars Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montjane (pictured) and Evans Maripa at the Israel Open on Thursday, the ITF 2 series event staged at Ramat Hasharon, Israel. The country’s number one men’s player Maripa brought his Israel Open challenge to a triumphant end when he joined forces with Marc McCarroll of the Great Britain to win the men’s doubles title. Top seeds Maripa and McCarroll clinched their first title together after a thrilling 4-6, 6-4, 10-7 victory over second seeds Martin Legner (AUT) and Ricky Molier (NED) to claim the title.
The 24 year old crashed out of the men’s singles draw when he was eliminated by unseeded Dutchman Rick Molier in the semi-final round. Molier took the match 7-5, 6-2 to down Maripa and setup a final clash against top seed Stefan Olsson. The country’s top ace KG Montjane and doubles partner Katharina Kruger of Germany; seeded 2 in the tournament secured the women doubles title against Netherlands’ Marjolein Buis and Michaela Spaanstra on Thursday.
The pair lost the first set, but rallied to beat the Dutch top seeds 2-6, 6-2, 10-6 to attest the title. In the women’s singles event Montjane reached the semi-final round where she bowed out to top seed Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands. The world number six clinched the match 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 and will meet second seed Katharina Kruger of Germany in the final.
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa director Holger Losch says: ‘Evans Maripa and KG Montjane have made leaps and bounds over the years in the game and we are proud of their achievements in Israel. We hope that they will continue their winning streak next week in Turkey.’ Both Montjane and Maripa move on to Turkey for the prestigious 2015 BNP Paribus World Team Cup to be staged at Club Ali Bey Manavgat, Antalya from 25-31 May. They will join the three South African teams which comprises of Leon Els, Marshall Marsh (men), Mariska Venter, Thando Hlatshwayo (women) and Lucas Sithole, Bongani Dlamini, Danny Mohlamonyane (quads).
Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images