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MONTJANE MAKES WINNING START TO SARDINIA OPEN CAMPAIGN

South Africa’s top ranked women’s wheelchair tennis ace Kgothatso Montjane made a successful start to her Sardinia Open campaign in Italy on Wednesday just a week since her return from the US Open in New York.

Top-seeded Montjane produced a clean sweep 6-0 6-0 win over world number 68 Annabelle Ribeaud of Switzerland to advance into the quarter-final round of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 1 tournament.

“I’m very pleased, nothing beat starting a tournament with a straight sets win,” the Wimbledon semi-final Montjane from Seshego in Limpopo said after the win. “I was hitting the ball very well throughout the whole match.”

The world number 5 Montjane who reached the US Open Grand Slam semi-final earlier this month will next face fifth seed and world number 15 Charlotte Famin from France who eased past Italian Lauro Marianna 6-2 6-1. Montjane leads the Frenchwoman 7-3 in their head-to-head meetings.

The last time they played each other was in the US Open USTA Championships round of 16 in St. Louis, USA last month and the 32-year-old Montjane dispatched Famin 6-0 6-1.

“I have played Charlotte a few times and she’s a very solid player, so I’ll go into the match with everything, stick to my game plan and hope to do as well as I did today,” said Montjane.

In the doubles, Montjane and her British partner Louise Hunt went down to top seeds Giulia Capocci (ITA) and Charlotte Famin (FRA) 2-6 2-6 in the quarter-final round.

In the quads event, two-time Grand Slam champion Lucas Sithole and promising star Donald Ramphadi swept past Davide Giozet of Italy and partner James Shaw of Britain to reach the quads doubles semi-final.

Sithole and Ramphadi who were playing together for the first time in a double’s competition, edged out the Italian-British pair 6-1 6-0 and they will next face second seeds Anders Hård of Sweden and Antonio Raffaele of Italy for a place in the final.