South African men’s wheelchair tennis team have secured their spot in the 2020 BNP Paribas World Team Cup finals with a clean sweep victory over Morocco in Nairobi on Sunday.
Twelve teams from eight countries battled it out on the courts of Nairobi Tennis Club, from February 13-16, to vie for a spot in the final of the world’s preeminent wheelchair tennis team competition. The 2020 BNP Paribas World Team Cup will be held on 4-10 May at the Vilamoura Tennis Academy in Portugal.
The players competing for Team South Africa in the qualifying event were the country’s top ranked player Evans Maripa, Leon Els and rising star Alwande Sikhosana.
The three players had a strong showing, notching back-to-back straight-set wins in all their singles and doubles rubbers against Tanzania, Cameroon and hosts Kenya en-route to the final.
“It wasn’t easy, but the team worked very hard,” said South African Team Manager Patrick Selepe.
“Evans proved to be a formidable No. 1 for us, and Leon Els simply was dominant at the No. 2 position. Alwande embraced his role all week and was a tremendous asset to our team and has a terrific future. It’s been a great week that should provide great momentum going into the final. Congratulations to all the three players for representing their country with pride,” added Selepe.
The BNP Paribas World Team Cup is often referred to as the Davis and Fed Cups of wheelchair tennis. The initial event took place in California in 1985 involving six men’s teams. The women’s competition began the following year, with quad and junior events introduced in 1998 and 2000 respectively.