Kgothatso Montjane made history, this year, when she became the first-ever black South African female tennis player to participate at Wimbledon. In her first appearance at the famous Championships, she reached the semi-final, where she eventually lost to Diede de Groot from the Netherlands, who beat her in straight sets.
Montjane thereafter attended the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships next where she fell ill and had to retire from the tournament. Now, she has the opportunity to attend her fourth US Opens and appear in the Grand Slam tournament for the 12th time. Currently ranked at number six in the world, Montjane will join the top seven ranked women for the 2018 US Open Wheelchair Tennis Tournament in New York in September.
The prestigious final Grand Slam on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour will be staged from September 6 to 9 at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre at Flushing Meadow. The top seven ranked players as of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Rankings of July 16 and one wildcard make up the eight players for the men’s and women’s events.
The Limpopo-born star qualified to join the elite group following her Wimbledon success which saw her climb into the top six of the world rankings. The 32-year-old has had a good season, defending her Swiss Open title. She hopes to improve on her 2013, 2014 and 2017 quarter-final finish at Flushing Meadow.
“Four Grand Slams in a year, this is great! I am very excited, and I look forward to the US Open and hopefully 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 just keep believing in myself and just play my game,” commented Montjane.
Prior to the Grand Slam, Montjane will take part in a warm-up tournament, the US Open Super Series tournament, which will be held at St. Louis, US, from August 28 to September 2 where she will hopefully be joined by another South African wheelchair tennis legend – Lucas Sithole.
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) said they are working very hard to raise money for both Montjane and Sithole to travel to the US. “We are very proud of Kgothatso 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 number six and former US Open Quads Singles champion Lucas Sithole, so he can better his ranking, and be able to access the Masters event in November,” says Karen Losch, WTSA CEO.
“We are working very hard and are talking to people to raise money to ensure Montjane, Sithole and a coach can travel to the US Open to represent South Africa in these prestigious events. We know it is about the US trip, but also about being able to give all our Paralympic hopefuls an opportunity to compete in events to enable them to qualify for the Paralympics in 2020,” she added.