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Selepe set to make history at Davis Cup tie

Pretoria’s Patrick Selepe will make history next month when he becomes the first official with a disability to work as a chair umpire in South African Davis Cup competition.

Originally from Limpopo, Selepe, a former wheelchair tennis player, has a prosthetic leg after losing the limb to cancer.

He is one of three officials named by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Tennis South Africa (TSA) to do duty at the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas tie between South Africa and Estonia.

The tie is to be played at the Irene Country Club outside Pretoria from 3-5 February.

The referee and ITF Representative at the tie will be experienced umpire, Dr. Ashraf Hamouda of Qatar. The two chair umpires are Selepe and Soweto’s Tebogo Maleka from Soweto, Johannesburg.

Chief of Umpires will be Mpho Makhoba of Atteridgeville, Pretoria.

Hamouda, a silver badge ITF referee, will be making his first trip to South Africa. He is the officiating manager for the Qatar Tennis Federation and officiates at the ATP and WTA events in Qatar and Dubai as well as at the Wimbledon Championships. Hamouda also holds a chief of umpires gold badge.

Selepe has previously done duty as a line umpire at the Wimbledon qualifying event last year.

Picture of Selepe courtesy of Reg Caldecott


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