June 15, 2024
Share

By Mamaswa Ralefeta.

South Africa’s leading wheelchair tennis quad player Donald Mahlane Ramphadi won the wheelchair quad singles title at the Belgium Open-ITF 1 series tennis tournament in Jambes on August 5.

The Mogapeng-born wheelchair tennis ace defeated American top seed David Wagner 7-5, 0-6, 6-4 in the finals. Ramphadi was also part of South Africa’s squad wheelchair tennis team that won a silver medal at the 2022 BNP Paribas World Team Cup in May.

 

Ramphadi fell sick at the age of 12 and that led to him using a wheelchair.

In an interview with ThisAbility, Ramphadi (29) said, “I used to think tennis was a sport for white people.” When a development officer from Tennis South Africa came to his school, Letaba special school in Tzaneen, Limpopo to recruit tennis players, he decided to give it a try only to discover that he was good. He was then encouraged by the teachers who saw great potential in him.

“’I eventually fell in love with playing as it gave me the feeling of competing. I used to compete in soccer before I became impaired so I felt the same feeling and that day I decided to play for real,” he said.

The tennis star successfully competed in three grand slams the Juniors Singles Ranking, ITF Singles Ranking and Quad Singles Ranking and his coach, Duncan Krisjan (44) believes he is going far in the quad tennis sporting code. “I believe he is going to qualify for his master’s which is our goal for this year. We have a good start.”

Ramphadi is ready to compete at the US Open, scheduled for September 7 11. He aims to be one of the top three tennis quad players and later be crowned the number one tennis quad player in the world.

Siya Nkachela (44), Ramphadi’s brand manager, says it has not been easy getting funding and this has led to the tennis ace using his prize money to fund his travelling. “We are always writing proposals and approaching potential sponsors for funding so that Donald can be able to travel to his tennis tournaments.”

Ramphadi says his motivation comes from his hard upbringing and the love he has for his son. “Every time I play I think about where I come from, seeing my younger sisters having a better life and my son. When I think about my son I always want to achieve more. I grew up without a father, hence I want to do better.”

Advertisement
Advertisement
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
YouTube
YouTube
LinkedIn
LinkedIn
Instagram
Skip to content