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Montjane bows out of US Open

Montjane

Top South African wheelchair tennis ace Kgothatso Montjane saw her hopes of going at least a stage further in the US Open ended in New York on Saturday.

She was beaten by defending champion Yui Kamiji at the USTA National Tennis Center.

The world No 6 fell to Japanese world No 2 Kamiji 6-1, 6-0 in 51 minutes in the semi-final round of the last Grand Slam tournament on the 2018 UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

Montjane, looking to reach her first final in Flushing Meadow, was out of sorts from the outset against the Japanese who played high balls on a windy afternoon in New York.

‘It was tough out there and the windy conditions didn’t make it any easier,’ said Montjane.

‘All credits go to Yui Kamiji who was a better player today. There are a lot of lessons learned from this match and I will go back home to work on a few things to better my game,’ said 32-year-old Montjane.

Former world No 1 Kamiji, who was by far the more composed in the tricky windy conditions on Court 17, has now extended her winning streak against the Limpopo-born star to 19-4 in their head-to-head series.

Despite the loss, Montjane can be proud following her great performance on Friday, dismantling world No 8 Lucy Shuker from Britain 6-4, 6-4 to become the first South African wheelchair tennis player to reach the US Open Grand Slam semi-final since Lucas Sithole in 2013.

The 32-year-old has stepped up in the major tournaments by reaching semi-finals in two of the four slams this year. She wrote her name in the history books in July this year after becoming the first South African black woman to play at Wimbledon, where she reached the last four stage.

On Friday evening, Montjane and her American partner Dana Mathewson lost to Dutch second seeds Marjolein Buis and Aniek van Koot in straight sets 1-6, 1-6 in the doubles semi-final round.

PHOTOS: Montjane in US Open action, by Takeo Tanuma


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