Cape Town - South Africa’s highest ranked wheelchair tennis ace, Kgothatso Montjane, has reached her first US Open semi-final after she beat Lucy Shuker from Britain in straight sets at the USTA National Tennis Centre in New York on Friday.
Montjane triumphed 6-4, 6-4 after just an hour and 23 minutes on Court 6 to extend her lead against the Brit 11-5 in their head-to-head series.
This year's Wimbledon semi-finalist, Montjane becomes the first South African wheelchair player to reach the semi-final round in New York since quad ace Lucas Sithole in 2013.
“It feels amazing to have been out there and gave this match my best. I can still improve on a few things but I’m happy to finally manage to make it to the US Open semi-final round,” said Montjane.
The 32-year-old had never made it beyond the quarter-final round in Flushing Meadow in three previous attempts, but has been in sparkling form this time and will harbor genuine hopes of going at least a stage further in the last grand slam tournament on the 2018 UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
The world No 6 Montjane will now attempt to overturn a losing record against Roland Garros champion and world No 2 Yui Kamiji from Japan (18-4) on Saturday. The Japanese former world No 1 whitewashed Dutch world No 5 Marjolein Buis to advance to the last 4.
“It’s a huge match against Yui Kamiji, for sure. But I am here to compete, so I will give it my best and hope for better results,” commented Montjane.
Meanwhile, Montjane will team up with her American partner Dana Mathewson later tonight to face off against Dutch second seeds Marjolein Buis and Aniek van Koot for a place in the women’s doubles final.
They will play the final match on the Louis Armstrong Stadium.