SA tennis sensation Siphos Mon

Siphos Montsi celebrates. Picture- University of Illinois

SA tennis sensation Siphos Montsi through to NCAA last 16

South African tennis sensation Siphosothando “Siphos” Montsi is through to the last 16 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division One Tennis championships.

SA tennis sensation Siphos Mon

Siphos Montsi celebrates. Picture- University of Illinois

South African tennis sensation Siphosothando “Siphos” Montsi is through to the last 16 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division One Tennis championships.

Montsi has started the singles championships in great form

The University of Illinois student had started off his national singles championships campaign in rampant form, steamrolling past University of Georgia’s Tyler Zink 6-3, 6-2 in his impressive round of 48 opener. That victory would ensure that Montsi would remain in Florida for a little longer, as he swiftly advanced to the round of 32 leg of the competition on Monday morning South African time.

The East London-born right-hander would then take on Finn Reynolds of the University of Mississippi in his next round fixture, at the USTA National Campus. Montsi would also prove to be too strong for his opponent from the South of America, defeating him 6-4, 7-6(4).

His University Team was unfortunately knocked in the last 16 of the Team championships

Montsi was recently in Orlando, participating at the NCAA Teams Tennis Championships two weeks ago, where his Illinois side, unfortunately, suffered defeat to the number one seeded university, the Florida State University. Illinois found it tough, after getting the trickiest draw imaginable for a number 16 ranked side, going down in the doubles, as well as 4-1 in the singles events.

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Prior to that, Montsi and his teammates had earned their right to be at that stage of the tournament with an impressive 4-0 victory over the University of Notre Dame, a private institution from the state of Indiana. Illinois were also able to clinch the all-important doubles point to ensure their progression to Orlando.

Prior to that, Illinois also made light work of De Paul University, of neighbouring city Chicago. They beat their fellow State of Illinois opponents 4-1, with Montsi defeating Christopher Casati 6-1, 6-3 in his fixture.

After the teams’ defeat in Orlando, the focus firmly shifted to the singles tournament for Montsi and he will be hoping to continue his impressive run for as long as possible in Florida. Prior to the tournament, the number one ranked tennis star at his university spoke about the key ingredient to his impressive form this year.

Montsi speaks about what he attributes his form too

“I’d contribute my success this season to putting a lot more time in the gym than what I usually have been doing in the past seasons. But I think also mentally I’ve been a lot better, just being able to find another gear, I’ve just been telling myself to clear my mind and keep my thoughts simple, so that’s definitely played a big part too.             It’s been about not thinking too far ahead and about the points that I’ve lost, to keep it as simple as I can, stay in the moment, play my game and express myself” said Montsi, speaking exclusively to The South African

Montsi highlights his objectives

Speaking about his objectives for the national championships, the 21-year-old didn’t mince his words.

“In terms of goals for the tournament, I’m a person who wants to go for the trophy or not go for anything at all, again for this tournament I’m going for the trophy, that’s the only goal I ever have for a tournament. It’s a good feeling to play this tournament to cap of a good season, I’ve been playing really well this season, battled through a little injury in the middle of it, on my ankle but I managed to recover nicely and now it’s feeling good”.

My goal ultimate goal for the season is to be the NCAA Champion in this Singles tournament, to cap of being All American. That’s what I’ve been working hard for and hopefully, everything works out well”.

Montsi has since earned his All American badge by reaching the last 16. 16 being his lucky number as he won 16 matches overall in the season and only losing two. He is also the last South African standing at the championship with two others having been knocked out. Keep making the country proud Siphos!