Saturday, 03 October 2015, Bloemfontein, South Africa. – Mangaung will be a host to an international wheelchair tennis tournament, Airports Company South Africa Bloem Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures event, forming part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis tour starting from Sunday, 4-7 October 2015 at OUd Studente Tennis Club in Bloemfontein.
The Futures tournaments are a crucial stepping stone for local and international players in gaining world ranking points, in order to improve their positions in the global list.
The international premier event which was previously staged in Cape Town will be contested in the singles and doubles draws in four categories, men, women, quads and juniors. Over 60 players have entered the four-day event which has attracted players from Israel and Austria.
Glaring entries in the men’s division include Nico Langmann of Austria and Israel’s Amir Levi who are no strangers to South Africa. Langmann lost in the semifinal round in the Pretoria Open and Soweto Open early this year losing to Potchefstroom’s Leon Els in both final matches.
South Africa will not only be represented by over 60 players across the four divisions, but the country boasts title hopefuls in Leon Els, Mariska Venter, Thando Hlatswayo and Bongani Dlamini.
The country No. 2 Leon Els, is the defending champion and he will be eager to retain his crown.
It will be an all-South African battle in the women’s division and a stiff competition will be expected from compatriots Hlatswayo, and Venter who will be defending her title.
In the quads division, Bongani Dlamini, the country No.2 and defending champion will have to fight hard to keep Danny Mohlamonyane who defeated him for the Soweto title at bay.
In the junior division, the country’s top ranked players Alwande Skhosana and Nokwanda Hlongwane will take to the courts to solidify their positions among the top five juniors in the world.