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Human Movement Science

03/10/2013

The Wheelchair Tennis Eastern Cape Open event was held at the NMMU Tennis courts from 23 - 26 September 2013. One hundred and twenty (120) wheelchair tennis players entered the ITF Future Level event competing in the Men’s Open Singles and Doubles, Women’s Open Singles and Doubles, Quad’s Open Singles and Doubles and Junior Singles and Doubles titles. Participating countries included SA, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Wheelchair tennis started in SA a mere 10 years ago. Today South Africa is a leading Nation in Wheelchair tennis participation, having 45 training centers across SA with 450 players receiving weekly training. SA has 60 world raked players on the ITF ranking list. This is surpassed only by Japan.

The recent tremendous achievements of SA’s Lucas Sithole, winning the 2013 US Open Quads title, has catapulted Sithole’s ranking to being in the top 4 in the world and has placed much media attention on wheelchair tennis in SA. On the women’s side, SA number 1, Kgothatso Montjane, reached a new career high ranking of 6 in the world. SA’s number 1 men’s open player, Evans Maripa from Gauteng, is currently ranked in the top 20 in the World.

 

The leading Port Elizabeth players are Marshall Marsh and Adrian Hubbard. Adrian, a formed SA number 1 player and Para Olympic participant, convincingly won the men’s group 2 singles of the 2013 EC Open. Marshall Marsh, a final year HMS student at NMMU was in great form during the tournament. He lost a closely contested quarter final singles match to the number 1 seed Leon Els. He then teamed up with Els to claim the EC Open doubles title for 2013 (see insert picture).

 

Marshall Marsh is in the provisional group for the 2016 Rio Para Olympic wheelchair tennis team. He has a few days off after the tournament and then leaves for Russia in early October to play two ranking tournaments. He needs international tournament experience and a world raking of below 40 to be a serious contender for inclusion in the 2016 Parra Olympic SA team.

If interested in wheelchair tennis, find out more on the wheelchair tennis website: www.tennis.co.za or www.wtsa.co.za

You can also contact Hennie de Klerk about local wheelchair tennis programs and events: Hennie.deklerk@nmmu.ac.za or call on 082 780 7040.

Marshall Marsh an HMS student in action at The Wheelchair Tennis East Cape Open.