Sithole off to a sizzling start to 2014 with victory in Sydney | SASCOC - SASCOC

Sithole off to a sizzling start to 2014 with victory in Sydney

South African Sports Star, Lucas Sithole has got his New Year off to a bang by by winning his first para-tennis title of the year ÔÇô the Apia Sydney International Open that ended this week.

In the final against Britain’s world No7 Antony Cotteril, Sithole won 6-1 6-3, his superb performance and comfortable victories secured the title, which was determined on a set count.

World No2 Sithole had a great year in 2013, where he won the quads singles title at the British Open in July 2013, became the first South African to win a US Open grand slam singles title in September 2013 and was also runner up in the NEC World Singles Masters in November.

A triple amputee, Sithole is showing he has started 2014 on top form and is determined to get closer to his career dream of becoming the world No1.

The quads event at the APIA Sydney International Open, which along with the British Open and Airports Company South Africa SA Open is considered one of the top six events on the NEC International Wheelchair Tennis tour.

Compatriot and fellow 2012 London Olympian Kgothatso Montjane who is ranked No6 internationally, reached the semi-finals of the same event by defeating Janel Manns (AUS) 6-0,6-2 in the fist round and Jordanne Whiley (GBR) 6-3 6-2 in the quarter finals. She then faced world No2 Sabine Ellerbrock (GER) in the semi-finals and lost 4-6 3-6.

SA’s No1 men’s ranked player, Evans Maripa lost to world No5 Maikel Scheffers of the Netherlands, 6-1 6-1┬áin the second round. Although Maripa did not play for a title, he is causing waves on the tour, and is considered one of the biggest talents on the men’s circuit.

SA Sport Awards winners Kgothatso Montjane and Lucas Sithole along with Evans Maripa will now be competing in the Melbourne Open from 16-19 January 2014.  Sithole and Montjane will play in the Australian Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships Grand Slam in Melbourne 22-25 January 2014.

South African Sports Awards Coach of the year 2013; Holger Losch says: ÔÇ£I am very pleased and proud that our SA stars have started 2014 focused, successful, and winning. The Australian tour is always a hard one as it is hot, humid, and very early in the year. Lucas is showing he is hungry and determined, and the Super Series win puts him one step closer to his goal of being World no 1 this year.

“I’m equally excited about the way Kgothatso is playing. She had a few tough months, but she is back to the game which helped her beat the world No1 in 2013. I also anticipate big things from Kgothatso this year.ÔÇØ Losch added, ÔÇ£With players like Kgothatso, Lucas and Evans, our next goal is to have a world No1 in all three open categories at the same time.”

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