SA’s world No.7 KG Montjane abandons US Open because of Covid-19

Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa in action in the semifinals of the womens singles during day 3 of the Wheelchair Tennis Joburg Open at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre. File photo
Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa in action in the semifinals of the womens singles during day 3 of the Wheelchair Tennis Joburg Open at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre. File photo
Image: Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images

South Africa’s top wheelchair tennis star and world No 7 Kgothatso “KG” Montjane has explained the reasons for skipping this year’s US Open‚ which offered her another opportunity to win her first Grand Slam.

The 2019 US Open doubles finalist has joined a growing list of big names including defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal‚ women’s world No 1 Ashleigh Barty and wheelchair tennis 2019 Wimbledon champion Aniek van Koot in deciding against playing in New York due Covid-19 fears.

The Grand Slam‚ due to be played in a bio-secure bubble with strict safety protocols at Flushing Meadows from August 31 to September 13 has been hit by a number of withdrawals due to travel restrictions in other countries.

Kgothatso Montjane on overcoming the odds, lack of support for women's sports, her ambition of winning a #GrandSlam. This is her Story.

“I have decided not to play the US Open because of the Covid-19 pandemic as I feel it’s not safe for me to travel‚” she said.

“So‚ my withdrawal was due to health and safety issues. I want to thank the organisers for putting together the event during such a difficult time with great efforts to make it happen in a safe environment‚ but I still don’t feel it’s safe to travel.

“It was difficult to make that decision considering that in wheelchair tennis only the best seven players in the world qualify for grand slams on merit. So knowing that I am amongst the best seven players but had to make a decision not to play due to health and safety issues was not easy‚” added Montjane.

Montjane’s withdrawal means South Africa will not be represented in the wheelchair tennis event.

In the main event‚ SA will be represented by former world No.5 and 2017 US Open finalist Kevin Anderson‚ rising star Lloyd Harris and Raven Klaasen in the doubles.

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