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Evans Maripa is the only South African representing the country in four international wheelchair tennis tournaments. (Photo: Supplied)

Local wheelchair tennis player off to Asia


South Africa’s highest ranked male wheelchair tennis player Evans Maripa is currently representing the country on a four week tour of Asia to be followed by back-to-back tournaments in Israel.
Maripa, who hails from Polokwane, is the only player representing South Africa at these four prestigious tournaments as was confirmed by a press release issued by Wheelchair Tennis South Africa Public Relations Manager, Anthony Moruthane.
According to the statement Maripa’s tour began at the Daegu Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 1 event in Daegu in South Korea from Tuesday to Sunday, 14 April.
The 27-year-old Maripa will be taking part in the ITF level 1 event for the first time since 2015 where he impressed reaching the men’s finals after losing a hard-fought match against Tom Egberink from the Netherlands, according to Moruthane.
Maripa will then move on to the Busan Open, an ITF level 2 tournament also in Korea from 16 to 19 April. During the same tournament he had excelled to the men’s singles semi-final round in 2016.
After this tournament Maripa will proceed to Israel for two back-to-back tournaments, the Israel Open and Be’er Sheba Open from 23 tot 27 April and 30 April to 4 May respectively.
Maripa has also set his sights on cracking the world’s top seven by the end of the year. “The focus now is to gather all needed points to break into the top 10 and hopefully in the top seven by the end of the year. I plan to stage my A-game in these four tournaments, and I am confident I will do well looking at how I am playing at the moment,” Maripa was quoted to have said.
Maripa also said he was all set for the tournaments following a month of hard work on court, “We have been working on new tactics with my coach, Holger Losch for the past four weeks and I look forward to putting them into action,” the statement read.

Story: RC Myburgh