Jozi’s Old Lady Of Tennis Geared-Up For SA Spring Open

Chanel Simmonds (photo: Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images)

JOHANNESBURG, September 16, 2021 (Tennis South Africa Press Release)

Tennis South Africa (TSA) and Vision View Productions are just a week away from hosting the second instalment of the SA Spring Open at the Ellis Park Tennis Stadium, the ‘grand old lady of South African tennis’.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) prize-money combined event, which encompasses both able-bodied and wheelchair tennis players, will be held from 20 to 26 September 2021.

The event consists of an ITF $25 000 World Tennis Tour tournament for men and women, as well as a Wheelchair Tennis Grade II event for men, women, and quads.

The lifestyle dubbed tournament returns after a COVID-disrupted 2020 campaign and will be held under strict COVID-19 protocols and without spectators.

The event has attracted an impressive entry with over 200 participants from 27 countries, including Japan, Netherlands, Australia, France, Italy, Israel, etc.

There will be strong representation from South Africa across both events. Reigning champions, wheelchair tennis sensation and Wimbledon finalist, Kgothatso Montjane and women’s number 1 player (able-bodied) Chanel Simmonds will all be looking to retain their titles.

Wheelchair tennis:
History maker and record breaker Montjane will spearhead the women’s challenge. The world number 6 from Seshego in Limpopo will be the highest ranked player in the women’s event and will be the tournament favourite.

Other notable players in the women’s competition includes Dutch former world No.1 Jiske Griffioen, and SA No.2 player Mariska Venter.

In the men’s event, South African former world number 11 Evans Maripa will lead the men’s charge amongst the country’s hopefuls, including Leon Els and rising star Alwande Sikhosana.

A new quads champion is guaranteed in the absence of defending champion Lucas Sithole. Donald Ramphadi, the country’s world No.17 will be the tournament favourite to win the title.

The South African women’s field will be headed by the country’s top ranked player Simmonds against an all-star women’s line-up, including Tessah Andrianjafitrimo of France, Japanese Yuki Naito (223), Valentini Grammatikopoulou (235) from Greece, British Jodie Anna Burrage (236) and many more.

Heading up the men’s field will be Russian Konstantin Kravchuk (ATP ranking 421), who will be looking to hunt his first title in South Africa. Behind Kravchuk will be Filip Peliwo (434) of Canada. Reigning champion Benjamin Lock (467) will return to Johannesburg to defend his title.