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FILE PICTURE: Evans Maripa, the highest ranked South African in action against Gordon Reid (GBR) in the men’s singles during day 1 of the Airports Company South Africa SA Open at Ellis Park Tennis Stadium on April 29, 2014 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Maripa was knocked out in the first round of the Airports Company South Africa SA Open at the Ellis Park Tennis Stadium this week. He was beaten by world number three Gordon Reid of Britain.
But it was always going to be a tough encounter for Maripa, coming days after his mother passed away.
“Personally it’s been tough. I lost my mom a week ago and I haven’t really trained very well,” Maripa said.
“I arrived late for this tournament and then tried to get some last-minute training in before my first-round match, but I need time to get my rhythm going.”
However, Maripa left Ellis Park confident he could still become a force in the men’s singles of international wheelchair tennis this year.
The 23-year-old is currently ranked a career high 14th in the world, and said he believed he could break into the top 10 this year.
“I’m confident I can break into the world top 10. It all comes down to the hard work I’ve been putting in. I know I can do it.
“My biggest goal this year is to play my first Grand Slam in the US Open in September.”
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