South African ace KG Montjane overcame nerves and a slow start to upset second seeded Sharon Walraven of Netherlands 3-6 6-3 6-2 to lift the Women’s Singles winner’s trophy at the Airports Company SA Gauteng Open, in Benoni.
The Limpopo fourth seed was delighted with her win in the Open, an International Wheelchair tennis tournament played at the Gauteng East Tennis Centre, saying that she enjoyed her winning form over top-ten players on South African soil.
“I was incredibly nervous during the first set, because this was a very important match for me to win,” said the 25-year-old Polokwane player. “But, once we got into the second set and the crowd got behind me, I found my rhythm and I became more aggressive, taking the game to her.
“Once I had the match squared, I knew I could beat her in the third. But I had to fight some nerves again, trying to close the set. This has been a significant victory for me, in terms of the mental aspect of the game. Each time I beat a world top 10 player, I’m getting stronger mentally and they will start seeing me as a threat.”
Montjane enjoyed a double victory when she and doubles partner Kanako Domori from Japan defeated Walraven and Katherine Kruger from Germany in the women’s doubles 6-2 6-1.
And Kruger will be on Montjane’s radar when she and triple-amputee Lucas Sithole compete in the Super Series Japan Open in two weeks.
“I’ve shot up to 11th in the world rankings and I’m just 10 points below Kruger,” she said. “I’ve had her number so far this season and I’m going after her in Japan. If I can keep this winning form going, I’ll get inside the world top 10. That’s my goal for the Paralympics.”
Airports Company South Africa Gauteng Open: Women’s Singles Final: 4-Kgothatso Montjane (RSA) bt 2-Sharon Walraven (Ned) 3-6 6-3 6-3 Juniors: 1-Thabang Lekhanyane (RSA) bt 2-Mabel Mankgele (RSA) 7-6(3) 6-4 Women’s Doubles Final: 2-Kanako Domori (Jpn)/Kgothatso Montjane (RSA) bt bt 1-Katharina Kruger (Ger)/Sharon Walraven (Ned) 6-2 6-1