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Khololwam Montsi playing debut match at Roland Garros junior championships on 04 October 2020

South African Teen Tennis Star Wins Debut Match at Roland Garros

South Africa's 17-year-old tennis star, Khololwam Montsi, has won his first match at Roland Garros Junior Championships.

South African has found new hope in teen tennis sensation Khololwam Montsi. The 17-year-old has won his debut match at Roland Garros Junior Championships in Paris. Montsi is the second Black South African in history to represent the country at the French Open Juniors. He is reportedly South Africa's hopes to end a 20-year dry spell in the exclusive sport.


The teenager has won over the hearts of many sports fans in the country after he qualified for the second round of the prestigious juniors contest, serving 6-2, 6-2 victory over Frenchman Axel Garcian. The match was an intense play that had Montsi looking like he was about to lose, but he rose up from the loss of two games to claim victory in straight sets.

Montsi's competitive nature is reportedly propelled by his older brother who is also a tennis player.

"I would see my brother playing tennis and when he started going to other countries to play I figured if I wanted to be close to him I would have to play tennis as well. It generally started because I wanted to go to Asia with my brother and so I quit karate and joined him," he recounted in an interview with The Star newspaper.

Montsi was born in King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape. His athletic prowess seems to be an inheritance from his mother, Pumla Montsi, who was a renowned sprinter. Both his parents have supported Montsi in nurturing his talents even quitting high government jobs. Montsi needed to raise R1.5 million in 2017 for the youngster to compete in a tournament in Florida. Xolani Montsi lamented to IOL that unfortunately they could not afford to fly with him to France to witness his debut.

Tennis is an expensive sport in South Africa. Black boys often have their sights set on soccer which is on of the few sports that is well-funded. Minister of Sports Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa is often critiqued for lack of transformation in other sports than aren't soccer. The remnants of Apartheid have negatively influenced sport funding and inclusion. Tennis, rugby, swimming and cricket are often colour coded sports barring access to Black people. Resistance to transformation on sports boards such as Cricket South Africa has slowed down Black athletes' progress in these sports categories.

Despite these difficulties, Monti carries a cheery and hardworking spirit as reported by Tennis365:

"Since I have been here it has just been perfect. I haven't had one bad day, everyone pushes each other, we all want to see each other succeed. That's the best part of this gym. I am super blessed to be part of this place. I think after that Australian trip I came back and told myself I am going to be at the gym and it is something I want to do and not something like 'oh I got gym'."

Montsi is currently ranked number 12 in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) world junior rankings earlier this year, and was part of the South African ATP Cup squad. Peter-Jon Nomdo was was the first black junior tennis player at Roland Garros in 2000. Nomdo is now part of Montsi's team of coaches.

For update follow @MontsiBrothers on Twitter.




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Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images

Sudan Declares State of Emergency, As Military Dissolves Transitional Government

As the North African country edged closer to democracy, Sudan's military has seized power.

Sudan's military has seized power over the North African country, arresting multiple civilian leaders, including the current Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The power-sharing, unstable coalition, called the Sovereign Council, was created as a transitional government after the fall of dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019, in an attempt to move towards a democratic Sudan.

The Sudanese public has been split in recent weeks as groups protested for a military-run state, while others pushed for a civilian lead, democratic nation. Last week, the Prime Minister vocalized his plans towards a full transition to civilian rule, and his plans to have that body in place by November 17, echoing the voices of thousands of Sudanese demonstrators who showed up in hoards to demand that the promise of Sudan's pro-democracy movement be honored. But on Monday the PM and multiple government ministers and officials were placed under arrest, resulting in Sudan's top general's declaring State of Emergency.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said in a televised statement, "To rectify the revolution's course, we have decided to declare a state of emergency nationwide… dissolve the transitional sovereign council, and dissolve the cabinet." His statement came as soldiers fired live rounds at anti-military protestors, outside of the army headquarters in the capital.

Internet services were cut across the country around dawn and the main roads and bridges into Khartoum shut, before soldiers stormed the headquarters of Sudan's state broadcaster in the capital's twin city of Omdurman, the ministry said. After months of rising tensions in the country, army and paramilitary troops have been deployed across the capital city, Khartoum, with the airports and internet access being shut down. As a result of the coup, hundreds of protestors have taken to the streets, demanding the return of a civilian ruled and the transitional government, the BBC reports.

Demonstrators have spread to a number of Sudanese cities including Atbara, Wad Madani, and Port Sudan, and more are expected to attend the call for action. "We will not leave the streets until the civilian government is back and the transition is back," protest attendee Sawsan Bashir told AFP. While demonstrator Haitham Mohamed says, "We are ready to give our lives for the democratic transition in Sudan."


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