LONDON - South African world number eight, wheelchair tennis ace and wildcard entry Kgothatso Montjane swept aside doubles partner Germany’s Katharina Kruger in a stunning three-set thriller on Thursday evening to reach her first semi-final at Wimbledon.
Montjane was awarded a wild card into the grass-court tournament to become the first African wheelchair tennis player to ever take part in the event. The 32-year-old from Seshego in Limpopo sent the German world number 6 crashing to her earliest loss at The All England Lawn Tennis Club with a memorable 6-3 2-6 6-1 triumph in just 80 minutes.
Montjane took the first set in comfortable fashion, winning 6-3 to put the 28-year-old Kruger under immediate pressure. But the German came back strong to enjoy an early lead 3-1 in the second set and it looked as though Montjane was battling as she spent the set letting Kruger push her around the court.
Montjane then tried to stage a fight back to bring the score at 3-2 but Kruger responded in style to take the second set 6-2. Despite losing the second set to Kruger, Montjane never panicked. She upped the pressure and handled the big points better to seal the third set with a stunning 6-1 win to advance to the last four.
“I am very happy that I won today’s match against Katharina Kruger. It was a nerve-racking match and got me very shaky when I lost the second set,” said Montjane. “After the second set loss, I managed to get my momentum back and dominated the set to finally close it 6-1. I am extremely excited about the way I am playing at the moment and I am just letting this sink in then will focus on the next match."