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Maripa off to Europe for two top tournaments

Maripa

South Africa’s highest ranked wheelchair tennis men’s payer Evans Maripa heads to Europe this February for two major international tournaments.

The world No12 from Limpopo, who returned home recently from a two-week tour in Australia, will kick-off his trip at the ABN AMRO Tournament, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 1 event from 13-17 February in Ahoy Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Maripa will be participating in the event for the third successive year, completing a compelling roster of participants ranked in the top 12 globally.

Maripa impressed in Rotterdam in both 2016 and 2017 finishing in the quarter-final round and will return to improve upon those appearances. In 2016 he caused a major upset win over world No8 Japanese Takashi Sanada in his debut in the tournament following a wild card entry awarded by tournament director Esther Vergeer.

In 2017 the strong-hitting Maripa produced a master-class performance, defeating the world No11 Tom Egberink from the Netherlands 6-1 0-6 6-1 to reach the quarter-final round.

The 27-year-old will move on to represent the country in the Bolton Indoor, an ITF level 2 tournament, which also forms part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour to be staged in Bolton, Great Britain between 20-24 February.

Maripa and partner Stefan Olsson of Sweden clinched the Bolton Indoor doubles title last year edging out Caverzaschi (ESP) and Scheffers (NED). The 27-year-old lost to Olsson in the singles quarter-final and will be hoping to reach the semi-final stage this year.

‘There was a lot that I picked up on my last tour in Australia and I’ve been working real hard since my return to prepare for Europe. I’m mentally and physically ready for the two forthcoming tournaments,’ commented Maripa.

The competition in the men’s division is quite intense, so one needs to be mentally and physically active at all times,’ added Maripa.

Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) Manager Karen Losch said, ‘Evans is a talented player and he’s very close to a big break through, so these tournaments will give him another chance to prove to himself that he can beat any of the top-ranked players. He played some of his best tennis in Europe the past two years and we hope he performs even better this year’.

Picture of Maripa courtesy of Reg Caldecott


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