Legendary South African women’s wheelchair tennis player Kgothatso Montjane has qualified for her fourth US Open, making it her twelfth appearance in a Grand Slam tournament. Currently ranked sixth in the world, Montjane will join the top seven women for the 2018 US Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament in New York in September at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre.
The prestigious final Grand Slam on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour will be staged from September 6 to 9. The top seven ranked players (in the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Rankings of July 16) plus one wildcard make up the eight players for the men’s and women’s events. The top three ranked players as of July 16, plus one wild card, make up the four players for the quad event.
The Limpopo-born star qualified to join the elite group following her Wimbledon success, where she fought back into the world’s top six. The 32-year-old has had a good season, defending her Swiss Open title and making her debut at Wimbledon in July, reaching the semi-finals. She hopes to improve on her 2013, 2014 and 2017 quarter-final finish at the Tennis Centre in Flushing Meadow.
Did you know that Montjane was the first black South African female tennis player at Wimbledon? Read more here.
“Four Grand Slams in a year, this is great! I’m very excited, and I look forward to the US Open and, hopefully, will get through to the semi-final round this year. I have been playing very well and I am confident I will do well in the tournament if I keep believing in myself and just play my game,” says Montjane.
Prior to the Grand Slam, she will take part in a warm-up event, the US Open Super Series tournament, which will be held at St Louis from August 28 to September 2, where she will, hopefully, be joined by another South African wheelchair tennis star, Lucas Sithole.
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) says the organisation is making every effort to raise money for both Montjane and Sithole to travel to the US. Karen Losch, WTSA CEO, notes: “We are very proud of Montjane for making it to another major event on the Wheelchair Tennis Tour calendar. We know how important participation in the US Open Super Series is for the world’s number six and former US Open Quads Singles champion, Lucas Sithole, to improve his ranking and to be able to access the Masters event in November.
“We are working very hard to raise money to ensure Montjane, Sithole and a coach can travel to the US Open to represent South Africa in these prestigious events. It is not only about the US trip but being able to give all our Paralympic hopefuls an opportunity to compete in events to enable them to qualify for the Paralympics in 2020.”
For more information or to assist Montjane and Sithole to participate in the US Opens, visit the WTSA website or call the organisation at 082 904 1805. Good luck to both players!