South Africa’s top ranked men’s player Evan Maripa has been awarded a wildcard by tournament director Esther Vergeer, completing the roster of participants. The 25-year-old Maripa, who is currently ranked 16th in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Wheelchair Rankings, will be making his debut in Rotterdam. The eighth ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis will be held from 9 to 13 February 2016 in Ahoy Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Vergeer says: ‘Maripa is a very talented player, but he will have to participate in more tournaments in order to gain the experience needed to pit himself against the world’s best players. The wildcard for the ABN AMRO World Wheelchair Tennis Tournament is our way of contributing to this talented South African’s career. For Evans, it is a unique opportunity to show what he can do in competition against a compelling roster of participants. It is going to be quite a challenge, considering the fact that the top 10 players in the world will be present.’
Evans’ participation in the tournament also serves to show that wheelchair tennis is constantly growing as a sport and is gaining in global diversity. Wheelchair Tennis South Africa Director Holger Losch says: ‘Great opportunity to play against the top 12 players in the world. The draw is packed with all the players as it is a Paralympic year and just what Evans was hoping to be part of his preparations for the Paralympics later this year. Evans is very close to a big break through and this tournament will give him another chance to prove to himself that he can beat any of the top players in the world.’
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott