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Paralympian Sithole makes history in UK
- Updated: July 23, 2013
London Paralympian, Lucas ‘Twister’ Sithole became the first player from the African continent to win a Super Series title at the weekend when he defeated World No1, David Wagner 7-5 6-7 6-4 to claim the quad’s singles title at the British Wheelchair Tennis Open.
Sithole has won now 23 singles titles to date, including the Korea and Daegu Open in June 2013 and now, the prestigious British Open Quad’s Singles title. Participation in events like these is made possible by game sponsor, Airports Company South Africa, the major sponsor of WTSA for the past nine years.
To add to the growing list of his titles and awards, Sithole was also recently voted the 2012 Gauteng Sportsman of the Year with a Disability.
In the British Open, Sithole met and comfortably defeated Antony Cotterill (GBR) 6-2 6-1 to advance to the semi-finals where he met his longtime rival, Jamie Burdekin (GBR). Sithole was clinical in his execution, winning the match 6-4 6-4 to advance to the finals.
It was the third Super Series singles final for Sithole this year and his second against America’s Wagner. Sithole had only beaten Wagner in one previous encounter ÔÇô the ACSA Open in April 2013.
In the doubles event, Sithole and partner Burdekin reached the semi-finals where they lost to the top seeds, Wagner and Sarah Hunter (CAN) 5-7 3-6.
Coach Holger Losch said, ÔÇ£We are very proud of Lucas, and believe that winning one of the six big events on the world tour is a very important step to him realising his dream of being World No 1.ÔÇØ
In the same event, SA’s golden girl, Kgothatso ‘KG’ Montjane, ranked sixth in the world, faced world No3 Jiske Griffioen (NED) , in the quarter-finals but Griffieon was on top form and defeated her 6-2 6-2.
Montjane, however, was not out of the medals as she and her doubles partner, Marjolein Buis (NED), reached the women’s doubles finals but could not clinch the win over the Dutch pair of Griffioen and Van Koot, losing 2-6 5-7.
In┬á the mixed doubles event, the SA pair, KG and Lucas lost their semi-final match against the British pair McCarroll and Whiley 0-6 5-7.