Paralympic bound Lucas Sithole in finals at Daegu Open
After the emotional win and lifting the trophy at the Korea Open on June the 2nd it was back to the courts for the South African wheelchair tennis champion. The on form Newcastle, Kwazulu Natal athlete is gaining all possible experience in preparing for his 1st Paralympics later this year. The Daegu Open, an ITF 1 tournament took place from the 5th to the 9th of June and was Lucas Sithole’s next focus.
In the quads division a confident Lucas Sithole defeated Young-Mok Yu from Korea 6-0, 6-0 in the quarter finals. It was almost déjàvu for Sithole when he defeated Stephane Erismann (FRA) 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals to face Anders Hard (SWE) in the finals for the second week in a row. It was only 2 days earlier that Sithole had defeated Anders Hard (SWE) in the finals of the Korean Open, and now had the chance of duplicating that winning sensation against the top seed. It was a hotly contested final but Hard (SWE) avenged his loss of the previous week to beat the South African Star and take the title 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-1.
Achievements, trophies and awards are nothing new for the South African Star Lucas Sithole who has now moved up to a career high ranking of no.7 in the world.
Two of SA’s young top talents in the men’s division Evans Maripa and Sydwell Mathonsi also took part in the Daegu Open. Evans Maripa currently ranked no. 31 internationally played his first match against world no.32 Lahcen Majdi (FRA), winning 7-6, 6-2. This impressive win over Majdi, had Maripa facing Takashi Sanada (JPN) ranked 11 internationally, but unfortunately experience proved too much, with Sanada taking the match 6-2, 6-2. Sydwell Mathonsi, ranked no. 40 internationally mirrored his compatriots’ performance by winning his match against Gamini Dissanayake (SRI) 6-4, 6-4. Despite a good effort from Sydwell Mathonsi he then lost to world no. 26 David Dalmasso (FRA) 7-6(4), 6-4.
WTSA’s Director and Coach Holger Losch said: “We are so proud of Lucas and his achievements, and look forward to watching this inspirational athlete at the Paralympics.”
Participation in local and international tournaments is made possible by a generous sponsorship by Airports Company South Africa, the official sponsor of the sport.
Published by The BLD Group