SA Wheelchair tennis trio off to Europe

South African wheelchair tennis aces, Kgothatso Montjane, Lucas Sithole and upcoming star Donald Ramphadi will jet off to Europe this week for two prestigious international tournaments.

The trio will begin their excursion at the Bath Indoor Tournament, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 1 event in Bath, Great Britain from November 6-10.

Rising quad player Ramphadi, ranked 29, who has caused upsets taking down top ranked players including Japanese world number 4 Sugeno Koji last month in the semi-final round of the Sardinia Open will make his debut in Bath.

Ramphadi said with the Bath event being his last tournament for the year, he’s hoping to reach the semi-final round to solidify his position in the ranking points.

“It has been a great year for me, I haven’t played lot of tournaments, but I am really proud that I made the most of it in the few that I played. I want to go all out in Bath as it is my last tournament for the year to better or maintain my ranking.”

Following the Bath event, Montjane and Sithole will move on to the UNIQLO Wheelchair Doubles Masters to be staged from November 14-18 in Bemmel, Netherlands.

The ITF’s season-ending doubles championship for the world’s top wheelchair doubles players will be hosted for the second year in a row by the Dutch Tennis Federation.

The top eight men’s doubles pairings, the top six women’s doubles pairings and the top four quad doubles pairings to enter based on combined doubles rankings on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Rankings of 1 October make up the field for the ITF’s year-end doubles championship on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

Two-time Grand Slam champion and quad world number 6 Lucas Sithole will take part in the event for the second time after finishing in third position with Heath Davidson from Australia in 2017. The 32-year-old will join forces with American Greg Hasterok this year.

It will be Sithole and Hasterok’s first partnership since the 2016 British Open where they reached the semi-final round.

The country’s leading women’s player Kgothatso Montjane will also be looking to battle it out with partner Charlotte Famin from France in their second consecutive year of partnership in the season-ending doubles championship. The pair finished in fourth position in 2017 and will be hoping for better results this year.

Sithole and Ramphadi’s participation in these tournaments is made possible by National Lotteries Commission (NLC) and Montjane has secured private sponsors for her trip.