DONALD RAMPHADI FALLS AT THE FIRST HURDLE IN BRITAIN
South Africa’s promising quad wheelchair tennis player Donald Ramphadi has lost a three-set battle to Sam Schroder in the first round of the Bath Indoor Tournament in Britain on Tuesday.
Last month’s Sardinia Open finalist Ramphadi who lasted over an hour before bowing out with a 6-4 3-6 3-6 loss to the 15th-ranked Dutchman said he was disappointed with the loss.
"I played my best during the match but so disappointed that I lost, Sam was just good," disappointed Ramphadi said following his match.
Debutant Ramphadi admitted Schroder was just too strong for him but he believes he has potential to defeat him soon.
"He is really a good player but I'm on the right way and should clear this hurdle next year. It was very close again today."
Schroder had already defeated the big hitting Ramphadi in the semi-final round at French Riviera Open when they clashed for the first time in France last month.
Former US Open champion Lucas Sithole, seeded number 2, now remains the only South African hope in the quad’s singles event. The world number 6 will open his campaign on Wednesday against Petter Edstrom of Sweden. Sithole and Edstrom last played each other in 2014 at the ACSA SA Open in Johannesburg.
In the women’s event, the country’s top ranked player Kgothatso Montjane, seeded number 1, who had a sterling year which saw her back at her career high world ranking of 5 will begin her opener against Germany’s Katharina Kruger on Wednesday.
Montjane won the last four encounters against the German including the Wimbledon quarter-final and the Swiss Open final in Geneva.
Montjane said she feels she’s beginning to play better again and free of pain after a wrist injury that she encountered during the Sardinia Open in Italy last month.
"It is great to play pain free after coming back from an injury,” Montjane said on Tuesday. "My wrist is OK now, so I am ready to face any challenge on court."