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Montjane knocked out of French Open after three-set epic

Wheelchair tennis players Kgothatso Montjane was knocked out of the French Open after a three-set quarterfinal battle to the three-time runner-up Aniek Van Koot on Thursday.

South African wheelchair tennis player Kgothatso Montjane. Picture: Reg Caldecott

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s lone representative in the French Open Wheelchair Tennis Grand Slam tournament, Kgothatso Montjane, was knocked out of the women’s singles quarterfinal round after a three-set battle with three-time runner-up, Aniek Van Koot from the Netherlands, at Roland Garros on Thursday.

World number 8 Montjane lost 1-6, 6-3, 1-6 in a nearly two-hour match, giving a tough fight to the Dutch world number 3 Van Koot, making her go the distance on court number 9.

Van Koot dominated from the start, clinching the first set in 38 minutes, but Limpopo-born Montjane came back strongly in the second set.

Down 3-2 in the set, the world number 8 staged a dramatic fight back to seal the second set 6-3 to push the match into the decider.

For a while, after the two women split sets, it looked as though the vibrant challenge from Montjane would avenge her 2014 loss to Van Koot, but the world number 3 came back from the brink to keep her quest for a first French Open title alive, dominating the deciding set.

The 32-year-old Montjane had reached the semifinal at Roland Garros in 2013 after edging out former world number 2 Sharon Walraven from the Netherlands in the quarterfinals but was not been able to win past Van Koot.

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