Kgothatso 'KG' Montjane to become SA's first black woman player at Wimbledon
Wheelchair tennis veteran Kgothatso “KG” Montjane will become the first black South African woman to compete at Wimbledon on Thursday when she rolls into action on court 14.
The 32-year-old Montjane‚ who received a wild card into the draw‚ will face her doubles partner‚ Katharina Kruger of Germany in the quarterfinals.
The eight entrants in the singles draw also compete in the doubles.
Montjane‚ with a world ranking of eight in singles and doubles‚ suffered from Amniotic Band Syndrome‚ which prevented some fingers and her legs from developing properly.
She had her left leg amputated when she was young‚ and in her early days she used to serve with her weaker right arm and then play out the points holding the racket with her left arm.
Montjane‚ who got provincial colours for ballroom dancing at school‚ has also won the disabled SA table tennis championships as well as medals for some field events at the national athletics championships.
While she has won more than two dozen times on the international circuit‚ Montjane has never had success at a grand slam tournament‚ and she’ll have a tough time in London as well‚ with her seven rivals all ranked higher than her.
Winners of the men’s and women’s singles titles at Wimbledon this year will earn about R40-million each‚ with first-round losers pocketing R695‚000.
It’s substantially more than the wheelchair players will get.
Wheelchair singles champions will be paid R713‚000.
If Montjane doesn’t advance on Thursday‚ she will earn R151‚000 for her effort.
In the wheelchair doubles the prize money ranges from R40‚000 per player losing their opening match to R125‚000 each for winning.