Tennis South Africa (TSA) and Vision View Productions are just a week away from hosting the second instalment of the South Africa Spring Open at the Ellis Park Tennis Stadium, the ‘grand old lady of South African tennis’.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) prize-money combined event, which encompasses both able-bodied and wheelchair tennis players, will be held from 20 to 26 September 2021.
The event consists of an ITF US$ 25 000 (R355 709) World Tennis Tour tournament for men and women, as well as a Wheelchair Tennis Grade II event for men, women, and quads.
The lifestyle dubbed tournament returns after a COVID-disrupted 2020 campaign and will be held under strict COVID-19 protocols and without spectators.
The event has attracted an impressive entry with over 200 participants from 27 countries, including Japan, Netherlands, Australia, France, Italy, Israel, etc.
There will be strong representation from South Africa across both events. Reigning champions, wheelchair tennis sensation and Wimbledon finalist, Kgothatso Montjane, will be looking to retain her titles.
History maker and record breaker Montjane will spearhead the women’s challenge. The world number six from Seshego in Limpopo will be the highest ranked player in the women’s event and will be the tournament favourite.
Other notable players in the women’s competition includes Dutch former world number one Jiske Griffioen, and South African number two player Mariska Venter.
In the men’s event, South African former world number 11 Evans Maripa will lead the men’s charge amongst the country’s hopefuls, including Leon Els and rising star Alwande Sikhosana.
A new quads champion is guaranteed in the absence of defending champion Lucas Sithole. Donald Ramphadi, the country’s world number 17 will be the tournament favourite to win the title.