Top South African wheelchair tennis ace Kgothatso Montjane reached a Grand Slam women’s doubles final for the first time on Friday, September 6, at the US Open when she and her partner, Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany, beat second-seeded Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands and Dana Mathewson of the United States.
Montjane and Ellerbrock took the opening set with a 6-1 win. In the second set, the Dutch-American duo rebounded with a 6-4 win. Yet Montjane and Ellerbrock regained control in the deciding set with a 10-6 win, which secured their place in the final at Flushing Meadows, New York.
On Monday, September 9, however, Montjane’s first Grand Slam hopes were crushed with a 6-2, 6-0 defeat at the hands of the Dutch pair Diede de Groot and Aniek van Koot in the US Open doubles final on Court 11 of the USTA Billie Jean King Stadium.
Montjane, who hails from Seshego, Limpopo, has competed in four major tournaments and also came agonisingly close to glory when she suffered a Wimbledon semi-final defeat in July. She was eliminated in quarterfinal stages of the singles competition to end all South African participation at the final Grand Slam event of the year.
Although this had been her first Grand Slam women’s doubles final, Montjane is not new to the world of Grand Slam tennis. The current world number five became the first African woman to play at Wimbledon last year. While she still pursues the elusive Grand Slam title, she already holds the distinction of being the first African to compete at all four world major tournaments.