South Africa’s top singles player Kg Montjane cleared the first hurdle at the ACSA SA Open, and will join all the top seeds in Wednesday’s second round of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour Super Series event at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.
World number seven Montjane beat world number three and first seed Jiske Griffioen to wrap up her second successive ACSA Gauteng Open title two days ago, and was in formidable form on Tuesday against compatriot Rose van der Meer.
Montjane watched with interest as Katharina Kruger from Germany quickly went 3-0 up on Christine Schoenn in the first set, but then had to fight for survival when the French player fought back to level the set.
The German world number 11 battled on to take the first set 6-4 and claimed the match with a 6-3 victory in the second after an hour and 31 minutes on centre court. “You can see why Katharina is such a tough opponent,” Montjane said.
“She is such a fighter; she never gives up and you can never assume that you have beaten her until you’ve taken match point.
“She used to beat me all the time when I first started playing international events, but since I broke into the top 10 in the world, the roles have reversed. I’m definitely not over-confident, because on the day, anything can happen.
“My main focus will be to put her under pressure and to win the match with my service game and returns.”
The Dutch women’s singles top seed Griffioen and second seed Marjolein Buis both enjoyed a first round bye, while British third seed Lucy Shuker defeated Dipuo Molefe 6-0 6-0.
Buis will go up against Mabel Mankgele, Shuker will face Thando Thlatswayo, while Griffioen will play SA top junior Mariska Venter on Wednesday. The 16-year-old Venter is ranked fourth on the world junior rankings and was one of just four top junior girls in the world invited to compete in the Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters in France in January.
First Round Singles Results on Day 1 of the Airports Company South Africa SA Open, an International Wheelchair Tennis Tournament at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, on Tuesday, 9 April, 2013: Thando Hlatswayo (RSA) bt Lethaba Shai (RSA) 6-2 6-0 3-Lucy Shuker (GBR) bt Dipuo Molefe (RSA) 6-0 6-0 4-Kgothatso Montjane (RSA) bt Rose Van Der Meer (RSA) 6-1 6-0 Mariska Venter (RSA) bt Tsholofelo Sibanda (RSA) 6-0 6-0 Mabel Mankgele (RSA) bt Nomo-Afrika Gxumisa (RSA) 6-1 6-0 Katherina Kruger (Ger) bt Christine Schoenn (Fra) 6-4 6-3
(With editing by gsport)