Star sees Oz tour as preparations for Paralympics

Tennis ace Montjane targets top-four world ranking

South African wheelchair tennis superstar Kgothatso Montjane in action.
South African wheelchair tennis superstar Kgothatso Montjane in action.
Image: Reg Caldecott

SA wheelchair tennis ace Kgothatso Montjane wants to use her time in Australia as part of her Paralympic preparations and to move up the rankings. 

Montjane will compete in the Australian Open from February 14-17 at Melbourne Park. She reached the semifinals last year and wants to go one step further this year. The talented athlete will also compete in the Victoria Open from February 3-6 and at the Melbourne Open from February 8-11 before the Grand Slam. 

The Limpopo-born star is observing a 14-day quarantine and is unable to leave her hotel room or train. Speaking at a virtual press conference from Australia yesterday, the bubbly athlete said her wish is to improve on her ranking of sixth in the world.

“I want to improve my rankings and compete in all the available competitions so that I can be ready for the Paralympics,” she said.

The Paralympics will take place in Tokyo, Japan, in August. With tournaments in the UK, the US and Japan having been cancelled, Montjane does not know what the future holds.

Her coach Siya Ntja has accompanied her to Australia. “My sponsors paid for us to get here. We are in quarantine and not able to train but we are hopeful that we will start training soon. We got tested twice [for Covid-19] and showed no signs of the virus,” said Montjane.

Ntja added: “The plan is to move up the ranking to improve her prospects of playing in the Grand Slams. We are aiming for a podium place at the Paralympics and want to end up in third or fourth place in the world rankings.” 

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