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SA Squad for Wheelchair Tennis ITF World Team Cup named


Gelaai op 19 April 2011

Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) and its presenting sponsor Airports Company South Africa, alongside the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA), and City of Tshwane announced the team that will represent South Africa in the ITF World Team Cup.

This, a first ever for South Africa and the African continent, will see the Green and Gold players take up their racquets at this the most prestigious tennis event ever staged in this country.

This is the 27th ITF World Team Cup will be held at the University of Pretoria Sports Grounds from April 25, 2011 to May 1, 2011.

Team South Africa will be one of 34 nations all vying for gold, and our team will compete against a pool of approximately 300 players. The tournament categories include the Men's World Group I and World Group II, Women's World Group, plus Quad and Junior groups. WTSA will host the best players from around the globe, including world renowned Netherland’s player Esther Vergeer, the women's world No.1 and twice recipient of the prestigious Laureas Award for Sportsperson with a Disability.

Tournament Director, Holger Losch said, “Securing the ITF World Team Cup for South Africa is an honour and a privilege, and one that few countries outside Europe are able to boast. World Cup events appeal to the entire nation and we expect that even non-tennis enthusiasts will get involved in celebrating the game and supporting Team South Africa. We hope that by bringing this prominent tournament to the African continent, our nation will experience the incredible thrill of wheelchair tennis and watching our athletes demonstrate the power and tenacity of the human spirit.”

Being a team event means players are not collecting match points for themselves; when Team South Africa takes on a rival country, the result of the two singles matches and the deciding doubles match, will determine which nation remains in the race for the coveted crown.

In the men’s event, South Africa plays in the B draw where it’s expected Colombia - the 2010 defending champions - will be their strongest opposition. The Netherlands - also victors in 2010 – are undoubtedly the favourites in the women’s division, with World No 1 Esther Vergeer leading the fight. The quads and juniors competition is played as a round robin. Players are teamed up against the top seven nations in their respective divisions, and will battle it out against the 2010 title holders - the USA and Netherlands respectively.

Championing the cause for the South African scoreboard is a team that has been hand selected from five provinces across our country. No surprises in the line-up, the national squad is one that has spent countless hours of practice and these 10 individuals are single-minded in their pursuit of glory and hope, through winning performances, to bring honour to our country.
 
These men and women are:

Men’s Division:

1. Sydwell Mathonsi
2. Evans Maripa
3. Marshall Marsh

Women’s Division:

1. Kgothatso Montjane
2. Celia du Toit

Quad’s Division:

1. Lucas Sithole
2. Steven Kekai
3. David Mathebula

Junior’s Division:

1. Thabang Gift Lekhanyane
2. Donald Ramphadi

Team SA Manager

1. Marius Masencamp

Coaches:

1. Gerald Stoffberg – men’s division
2. Rene Plant – women’s division
3. Kgotso Matshego - quad’s division
4. Craig Fairall – junior’s division

The South African squad as a whole now has one more major warm up tournament before this mega event, the Airports Company South Africa SA Open, which will be played at Sun City between April 18, 2011 and April 22, 2011.

Join us on Facebook Wheelchair Tennis SA and Twitter WC Tennis for latest news and updates. You can also contact Beverley Bradley Beverley@simonsayscom.co.za or Nqobi Ngcobo on Nqobi@simonsayscom.co.za for more information.


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