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My tennis journey started during my last year of high school when I was 19. I took part in a clinic hosted by wheelchair tennis in Pretoria, South Africa. Tennis was not a familiar sport to me, I had never even heard of or seen tennis before. But I picked up the basics very quickly and I believe it was because of my background as a table tennis player.
I was given the opportunity to play tennis full time on tour in 2011 and it made me admire other players, and from that moment I wanted to improve and play at the same level as them.
A major highlight of my career was in 2018 when I became the first black South African woman to compete at Wimbledon.
My main motivation to play tennis is to stay active and healthy. I love competition, and I really enjoy setting goals, achieving them and then aspiring for the next goal. For me, what makes a good match is a good fighting spirit and a sense of enjoyment, as it puts my mind at ease.
My favourite tournament is the Australian Open because that was the first Grand Slam I played and I like the court surface. Winning Grand Slams is my next big goal, as well as improving my world ranking to be within the top 3.
My daily routine starts with gym in the mornings and then tennis in the early evenings. I spend the afternoons recovering and relaxing at home by reading and listening to music. A hobby of mine is to compose music and I spend some of my time making beats.
Being a homely and private person, I prefer being in my space and hanging out with the people within my inner circle. I enjoy braai with friends, and I like playing electronic arcade games and the PlayStation. I also love to watch soccer.
When travelling I read a lot and listen to music to keep sane.
My parents keep me grounded and inspire me. Being born with a disability in my community is considered a disadvantage but my parents gave me an opportunity for life, they encouraged and supported me to live a ‘normal’ life.
I believe that the balance between physical and mental shape is very important. It’s like a relationship because they work together. When working on my physical shape I am actually enhancing my mental shape. I feel like the more I push myself physically, the more I build a stronger mental shape.
What drives me in sport and in life is the fact that there is always room for improvement. This gives me courage and motivation to be a better person every day.
My best tip is to trust the process. No champion was made overnight.
To pick myself up if I have a bad match or practice, I focus on the positives and learn from the experience.
“To whom much is given, much is expected”.
This quote reminds me of the importance of being the best version of myself as it doesn’t serve only me but serves others too. I’m from a community where hope is something everyone needs, so giving hope to others, regardless of their background, is of great importance to me.
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