South Africa’s top tennis players will pit their skills against their overseas counterpart in the SA Spring Open to be hosted by Tennis South Africa (TSA) at Ellis Park Tennis Precincts, Johannesburg in September.

The event will be sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and it will be the first of its kind in South Africa, comprising of both wheelchair tennis able-bodied men and women.

At least 200 participants will take part in the event and TSA CEO Richard Glover says they are ready.

The event will start from September 23-29 at the Ellis Park venue that boasts 17 courts including an indoor facility.

Some of the country’s tennis aces likely to take part in this prestigious tournament include two-time grand slam champion Lucas Sithole, Wimbledon semi-finalist Kgothatso Montjane and the country’s top ranked women’s player Chanel Simmonds. Simmonds says she is excited to have the local tournament.

The Spring Open will also be developmental, aimed at providing international competition for South African tennis players locally.

Montjane says she hopes it will grow interest in the sport countrywide.

Two-time grand slam champion Sithole feels this ITF sanctioned event will be a great opportunity to also pick up rankings points for Paralympics qualification. – Report by Jefferson Lupuwana

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