South Africa’s highest ranked wheelchair tennis ace Kgothatso Montjane moved back into the world’s top five on Monday after reaching the semifinal round at the US Open Grand Slam in New York, USA over the weekend.

The 32-year-old took another step forward in her career when she impressed at the last Grand Slam of the year in Flushing Meadow with a breakthrough performance edging out world number 8 Lucy Shuker from Britain to reach her first semifinal round to climb another rung up the ladder in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) world rankings.

The Limpopo-born star was ultimately stopped by Japanese second seed Yui Kamiji in the last four, going down in a straight sets 1-6 0-6 defeat.

“So exciting to be back among the top 5 players in the world!” said Montjane on arrival home from New York.

“This just proves that when you work hard you can achieve anything. I am going to keep working hard for more and even higher ranking. Big thanks to my team and to all my sponsors for the great support and love.”

Montjane reached the number 5 ranking in 2013 just 8 years after she took up the sport.

The left-hander who was born with a congenital birth defect has also earned praise and admiration for her fighting spirit at Wimbledon reaching the semifinal round and becoming the first South African black woman to play in the grass court event this year in July.

She cruised through to the semifinals in the all-white event, defeating Katharina Kruger of Germany in the quarterfinals, to set up a mouth-watering tie against Dutch world number 1 Diede de Groot.

However, De Groot had too much for Montjane in the semifinals, defeating her 1-6, 5-7.

Today South Africa celebrates the star for putting on some unforgettable performances reaching at least semifinals in two of the four slams this year.