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Montjane in quarters as she avenges Challenge loss

Montjane

South Africa’s leading wheelchair tennis women’s player, Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montjane, gained revenge for her North West Challenge defeat by sweeping past American world No 14 Dana Mathewson 6-4 6-7 (6) 6-1 and into the quarter-finals of the Japan Open on Thursday.

Montjane lost to the 26-year-old Mathewson in the finals of the North West Challenge tournament, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 3 event, in Britain in February this year, but she had her sights set firmly on victory for their rematch in the ITF Super Series tournament in Iizuka.

Eighth-seeded Montjane very much had her game face on and won the opening set with little trouble, but the American challenged her to win the second set in a tie-break to level the score at one set all. However, Montjane came back to take charge and asserted her authority and took the deciding set to advance to the quarter-final round.

The world number 10 avenged her only loss against the American, and next meets her doubles partner, world No 3 Diede De Groot from the Netherlands, for a place in the last four, after De Groot saw off Momoko Ohtani of Japan.

Earlier in the day, fourth-seed Lucas Sithole, 2014 Japan Open champion, had little trouble sweeping aside world No6 Kyu-Seung Kim from Korea Republic with a ruthless 6-0 6-4 scoreline to advance into the semi-final round.

South African world No 4 Sithole, who seeks his second Japan Open title, next meets American world No 2 David Wagner, who is hunting his eighth title in Iizuka. The 30-year-old hopes to make it a repeat of 2014, when he ended Wagner’s sequence of seven successive Japan Open titles.

Picture of Montjane courtesy of Reg Caldecott


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