Wheelchair whizz Montjane aims to go step further at Australian Open

South African wheelchair tennis superstar Kgothatso Montjane in action She is hoping to reach the finals of the tournament this time.
South African wheelchair tennis superstar Kgothatso Montjane in action She is hoping to reach the finals of the tournament this time.
Image: Reg Caldecott

South African wheelchair tennis superstar Kgothatso Montjane is confident of going a step further in this year's Australian Open after reaching the semifinal round for the first time at last year’s event.

The 34-year-old from Seshego in Limpopo said her confidence was up as she looks forward to competing again.

“Honestly, I am just looking forward to compete again, and I want to do my best of course to finish at a better place than I did last year,” said Montjane

The wheelchair tennis Australian Open Grand Slam gets under way from February 14 to  February 17 at Melbourne Park.

Touching down in Australia on Wednesday, where she will play in two ITF level 3 series events in the Victorian Open (February 3-6) and Melbourne Open (February 8-11) ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year, Montjane said she prepared well, and she is ready to challenge the world's best.

“Preparations were good and I am ready to be back competing again and trying to get back playing at the higher level,” Montjane said.

“My goal for the tour is to reach the finals or win the competitions.”

The current world No 6 reached her first Australian Open  semifinal round after edging out German former world No 1 Sabine Ellerbrock in straight sets at last year’s event. Montjane triumphed 6-0, 6-1 after just 69 minutes to improve her head-to-head series 9-16 against the current world No 9.

Like her peers, Montjane will also have to contend with the new challenge of quarantine. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Australian government has stated that all players arriving in the country must self-isolate for 14 days before they can play any professional tournaments.

“It’s quite a different set-up this year with the quarantine but it gives us a chance to acclimatise,” Montjane said.

“The rules are quite tough but it’s the best way to keep everyone safe including the Australian citizens.”

The players will be allowed five hours outside their hotel rooms to train during the 14-day quarantine. — Tennis SA

 

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