Double delight for Maripa in Israel


South Africa’s No 1 wheelchair tennis men’s player, Evans Maripa, bagged both the singles and doubles titles of the Israel Open in Ramat Hasharon, Israel, at the weekend. Maripa overpowered world No 18 Ezequiel Casco from Argentina in straight sets to claim his first Israel Open singles gold, without dropping a set in the tournament. The 26-year-old dominated from start to finish in the final of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 2 event to win 6-1 6-4. It was a double delight for the world No 13 from Limpopo as he began to accomplish his mission to target an ever higher seeding in the world rankings. ‘The last few days were so exciting, so great to feel the enthusiasm and to play great tennis,’ commented Maripa. ‘It was a perfect week for me winning the singles title, without dropping a set in the tournament. My main focus now is to up my ranking and I will be heading to Europe this week in high spirit and just play my best game.’ ‘My confidence is so high, I’m playing my best tennis ever at the moment and I hope I can keep it up going forward,’ added Maripa, who will be heading to the Czech Republic this week for the Vinci Czech Open, also an ITF level 2 tournament from 24-28 May. Maripa and doubles partner David Dalmasso from France teamed up and went on to win the men’s doubles title, beating Argentinian pair of Ezequiel Casco and Agustin Ledesma 6-3 6-3 in the final. ‘Nothing beats the feeling of ending a tournament with a win, so winning the doubles as well and taking home two titles makes me really happy,’ Maripa added. After the Vinci Czech Open, the 26-year-old will move on to represent South Africa in the Plock Orlen Polish Open in Poland from 30 May-3 June, before he returns home. Picture of Maripa courtesy of Reg Caldecott