Kgothatso Montjane may not have won the Wimbledon wheelchair singles final on Sunday night but the Limpopo-born player’s star shone bright as she battled top seed and world number one Diede de Groot in the championship-deciding match.
It was the 35-year-old Montjane first appearance in a Grand Slam singles final and she had South Africans on the edge of their seats as she duelled against the Dutch player.
De Groot quickly raced into the lead and wrapped up the first set inside 30 minutes with a 6-2 lead.
The Dutch player did not let up in the second set and continued to exert her dominance on the proceedings‚ racing to 3-0 inside 12 minutes.
Montjane dug in deep in the next game and eventually broke serve to end a run of nine games for De Groot.
But the brave recovery was short-lived as the Dutchwoman eventually wrapped up the match to win 6-2‚ 6-2.
The fifth-ranked Montjane reached the final after beating Japan’s Momoko Ohtani on Friday.
She beat Ohtani 7-6(3)‚ 4-6‚ 6-4 at the All England Lawn Tennis Club to become the first black woman from SA to reach a Grand Slam singles final.
Montjane had the backing of the nation ahead of the Wimbledon decider and even president Cyril Ramaphosa wished her well on the eve of her first grand slam singles final.
The Limpopo star has continued to shine bright as she actually played in two finals at the weekend.
She also played in the Wimbledon ladies’ doubles wheelchair final with partner Lucy Shuker but fell to Brit Jordanne Whiley and Japanese partner Yui Kamiji in a 6-0‚ 7-6(0) defeat.
Kgothatso Montjane plays her first grand slam singles final @Wimbledon today. @KGMontjane1 may the serves be sound and the forehands flow as you continue to fly the flag. You will have your coach and the entire country with you. You’ve already made us proud. Let’s ace this one!🇿🇦 pic.twitter.com/nA5dMuMn92
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) July 11, 2021
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 11, 2021
Diede de Groot defeats Kgothatso Montjane 6-2 6-2 to claim her 3rd Wimbledon singles title.
If de Groot wins the US Open, she will complete a calendar Grand Slam. #Wimbledon2021
— TeaTime Tennis (@TeatimeTennis) July 11, 2021
Source: ARENA Holdings.