Sunday, February 08, 2009

Horns Of Plenty

SA Tennis Open : Day 7

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
celebrates winning against Jeremy Chardy of France during the Mens Singles Final match at the South African Tennis Open at Montecasino on February 8, 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa.


Didn't see any of the South African Open matches, but good to see Tsonga hold it down.


MMT said...

I just hope people recognize the significance of this victory. It's the first time the tournament's been held since 1995, a watershed moment in the history of the country, as the first year of the first term of Nelson Mandela as president. He's the first black man to win there, and ironically the first man of African descent to win this tournament as well.

Arthur Ashe first applied for a visa to play this tournament in 1968 and was denied, even though he was the winner of the first US Open. It initiated a long held personal committment to ending apartheid. He didn't get to play there until 1973, where he lost in the final to Jimmy Connors, but made news by refusing to enter the court until the audience was full integrated, with no sections reserved for any race.

For Jo-Willy Tsonga, son of a Congolese handballer to win the first South African Open held in 14 years, and to be the first black man to win it in the history of the tournament, is great news, a really positive story in the history of tennis, and just generally a wonderful thing.

I can't wait to see the replays (blah!) on TTC tonight and tomorrow.

Craig Hickman said...

Thanks for the history, MMT.

oddman said...

Yes, thank you for that info, MMT. I didn't realize Ashe had done all this.
It is a positive story, not just for tennis either.