A field consisting of both able-bodied and wheelchair tennis stars have been assembled for the 2019 SA Spring Open tournament. Photo: @TennisSA via Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – A field consisting of both able-bodied and wheelchair tennis stars have been assembled for the 2019 SA Spring Open tournament to be staged at Ellis Park Tennis Stadium in Johannesburg from September 22 to 29.

Tennis South Africa (TSA) confirmed the entries for the event, with the able-bodied ITF $15 000 Transition Tour and the Wheelchair Tennis Grade II combined tournament attracting over 100 players from 25 nations, including France, Japan, Italy, Israel, Serbia, Curacao, Brazil, Australia, Netherlands, India, Denmark and more.

In the able-bodied tournament, the SA women’s field will be headed by the country’s top-ranked player Chanel Simmonds. She will up against an all-star women’s line-up which includes Caroline Romeo from France, Dutch world number 757 Merel Hoedt and India’s Zeel Desai.

Heading up the men’s field will be world number 413 Tom Jomby from France, 26-year-old Zimbabwean Benjamin Lock, Austria’s David Pichler, American Alec Adamson and Alexander Donski from Bulgaria, who was a member of the Bulgarian team that played against South Africa in the Davis Cup tie this past weekend.

They represent the strongest opposition for South Africa’s Lance-Pierre du Toit, Charl Morgan and junior star Kholo Montsi.

In the wheelchair tennis event, South African former world number 11 Evans Maripa will spearhead the charge. Other South African hopefuls include Leon Els and rising star Alwande Sikhosana.

But they will face strong opposition from current Dutch world number 9 Tom Egberink, world number 19 Frederic Cattaneo from France and world number 30 Nico Langmann from Austria.

The women’s challenge will be fronted by Wimbledon semifinalist Kgothatso Montjane. The world number 5 from Seshego in Limpopo will likely be the tournament favourite.

Other notable players in the women’s competition include Mariska Venter, French ladies Emmanuel Morch and Charlotte Fairbank, and reigning Soweto Open champion Busra Un from Turkey.

In the quads event, two-time Grand Slam champion Lucas Sithole will be up against former world number 1 Shraga Weinberg and compatriot Donald Ramphadi. 

African News Agency (ANA)