Khololwam Montsi is a 17-year-old rising star in South African tennis having just set off for the French Open Junior Tennis Championships.
South Africa (07 October 2020) – Khololwam Montsi, publically known as Kholo, recently flew to Paris to make his debut in the French Open Junior Tennis Championships. While he won his first game at the open, he was knocked out of the championship. We wanted to know more about the rising star.
Kholo was born in Eastern Cape and grew up in the city of East London. He started his love for tennis at the age of 7-years-old when his older brother Siphosothando introduced him to the game. Siphosothando, who reached the top 100 in the juniors, is three years older than Kholo and currently studying in the United States where he continues to work on his tennis game.
In an interview with The Guardian back in July 2020 this year, Kholo said he was on a mission to his critics wrong, win or lose!
“Me wanting to prove people wrong, I was like: ‘OK, I’m gonna do this thing and I’m gonna work hard every day. I’m gonna beat everyone that I can,’” he says. “If I lose, I lose, I go back to the drawing board. But I’m on a mission, really.”
Earlier this year, Kholo won the African Junior Championships and rose to number 12 in the International Tennis Federation junior rankings. He now is ranked at number 13 and before heading to Paris, had won seven matches in a row.
Covering the topic of his goals in an interview with ITF, Kholo says he grew up looking up to sportsmen like Bryan Habana and more recently Siya Kolisi and while one day, he hopes to be as inspiring as them, for now, his goals are small in comparison.
“My immediate goals are to win a Junior Grand Slam and be junior world No. 1. I also set a goal for myself to be ranked No. 750 on the ATP circuit by December 2020,” he added.
“But you never know what may happen in the future. It’s all in God’s hands and I must just live in the moment.”
Peter-Jon Nomdo, one of Kholo’s coaches, was at the French Open Junior Tennis Championship twenty years ago in 2000 and it has been that long since another a rising young black South African has been at the championship.
His parents Xolani and Pumla Montsi have done everything to ensure both their sons feel supported in their tennis careers. They even went as far as quitting their jobs in government to be present for all the young men’s needs.
Keep your eye on Kholo, he has a drive to succeed and will end up flying that South African flag everywhere he goes! You can stay updated with both brothers careers via their Twitter account here.
— Tennis South Africa (@TennisSA) October 6, 2020