Montjane disappointed after 'tough' Tokyo Paralympics, looks to bounce back at US Open

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South African wheelchair tennis star Kgothatso Montjane
South African wheelchair tennis star Kgothatso Montjane
John Walton - PA Images via Getty Images

South African wheelchair tennis star Kgothatso Montjane is hoping to bounce back from a disappointing and tough Tokyo Paralympics.

Montjane was one of South Africa's flag bearers at last week's opening ceremony and she was a potential medal prospect after stellar performances this year.

In February, Montjane lost with her British partner Lucy Shuker in the Australian Open doubles final.  

In July, Montjane made history by becoming the first black South African woman to reach the final at Wimbledon, which saw her lose to Diede de Groot of the Netherlands.

She also finished runner-up in the Wimbledon doubles final, with Shuker again her partner.

In Japan, Montjane partnered with fellow compatriot Mariska Venter in the women's doubles - losing in the quarter-finals to Britain's Shuker and Jordanne Whiley.

Then on Monday, Montjane ended her Paralympic campaign with a 6-2, 6-3 loss against China's Ziying Wang in the singles second round.

Montjane acknowledged that it was a tough encounter but said there was a lot to learn.

"It is disappointing, a shocker, but as an athlete, you never win anything. It wasn't my day, but there was a lot of positives to take out of the match," Montjane said in audio provided by Team SA.

"It was tough, it was someone I didn't know so it was hard to establish tactics around her. She grabbed her opportunities when they came, but it was just a tough day for me.

"It's all about going back to the drawing board and to keep working. There's still a lot to look forward to."

Montjane said it was an honour and privilege to represent her country in Tokyo and hopes to perform better at the Paris Paralympics in 2024.

"This was quite a different one with restrictions. Hopefully, I can go back to the drawing board and prepare for 2024 since I didn't achieve what I wanted to here."

Montjane has no time to rest as she jets off to New York for the final Grand Slam event of the year, the US Open.

The wheelchair events are scheduled to get under way on 9 September following the conclusion of the Tokyo Paralympics.

"I have to make sure when I get there, I'm clear of this and start focussing on that," said Montjane.

"There's a lot of points to accumulate in that Open so I'm looking forward to that. There's still a lot to do this year."

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