South African world number 7 wheelchair tennis ace Kgothatso Montjane will get her 2018 Australian Open campaign underway on Wednesday against experienced rival Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands at Melbourne Park in Australia.
Montjane has a challenging draw ahead of her as she could potentially play world number 2 and Wimbledon champion Diede de Groot in the semi-final round, while an array of mouth-watering opening-round matches will be sure to keep fans entertained during the first two days of play.
The 31-year-old Montjane who made history after becoming the first African woman to participate in an invitation-only at the 2013 Australian Open tournament will face the world number 3 Van Koot for the third time in the quarter-final round in Melbourne Park.
Montjane lost to the defending doubles champion Van Koot in the quarter-final round of the Australian Open in 2013 and 2016 but the South African is on track for another potential blockbuster quarter-final.
Montjane and Van Koot met 18 times and the 27-year-old Left-handed Van Koot won 16 of their encounters but Montjane will however feel confident of progressing, having beaten the Dutchwoman in the 2015 NEC Masters and 2012 Japan Open.
The two rivals are used to pushing each other to the limit, they clashed in a captivating semi-final match in America last year at the Arizona Open which the Dutch world number 3 won 7-6(5) 4-6 6-7(5) and this promises to be another enthralling encounter.
Despite the challenge that awaits her, the Limpopo born-star is already looking further ahead than the first round.
“We are all here to chase a title, to do everything we can to try to win it,” Montjane said. “I have done all the work back at home and all that’s left for me is just to play my game.”