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June 30 2022 8:45 PM ˚
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Wheelchair tennis star defies odds

South Africa’s No. 1 wheelchair tennis player and the first African wheelchair tennis player to compete in all four Majors in a calender year, Kgothatso Montjane. (Photo: AFP)
South Africa’s No. 1 wheelchair tennis player and the first African wheelchair tennis player to compete in all four Majors in a calender year, Kgothatso Montjane. (Photo: AFP)
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An electrifying slanted backhand is seamlessly followed by a swift 360 degree clockwise maneuver of her wheelchair before South Africa’s top-ranked Paralympic tennis player halts, gazing sharply across the court.اضافة اعلان

Grabbing the next ball, lodged in the metal rims of her lightweight titanium wheelchair, Kgothatso Montjane sends it pirouetting with such agility and precise technique, it is hard to believe the 34-year-old pro picked up her first tennis racket by chance and in her late teens.

“I’m not a grassroots-crafted player. I picked up the racket at the age of 19,” she told AFP during a training session in Pretoria.

“So, I feel like there is a need for me to actually catch up. I really need to grind hard because to become the best player, you really need to work hard.”

Unlike most tennis royalty, the athlete is a late bloomer, having been coerced by fate into the sport.

“When I got to university, wheelchair tennis was the only disability sports that was active,” she chuckled.

So she joined a team which she credits for helping her to improve her style of play.

Within just over a decade she has shot up the rankings of wheelchair tennis to become a three-time Paralympian and is currently fifth in the world.

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