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SA’s Lucas Sithole wins Korea Open

Wheelchair tennis champion Lucas Sithole from Newcastle, Kwazulu Natal added another trophy to his young tennis career collection by winning the Korea Open; an ITF 1 Series tournament. Lucas ranked 10 in the world earned valuable ranking points and boosted his confidence ahead of his 1st Paralympics in London 2012 later this year.

After a successful BNP Paribas 2012 World Team Cup that finished on the 27th of May it was a short rest for SA tennis ace Lucas Sithole. The Korean Open started at the Olympic Park Tennis Centre in Seoul on Tuesday 29 May. It was a mentally strong Sithole who faced Stephane Erismann from France in his first match of the tournament. A focused Lucas comfortably beat the 34 year old Frenchman 6-1, 6-0. This easy victory paired Lucas up against the top seed, Jamie Burdekin of Great Britain in the semi-finals. Earlier in 2012 Sithole lost to Burdekin in the final round at the Melbourne Open.

“Although I lost to Jamie earlier this year I have beaten him twice in 2011 and knew I had to be focused and stick to my game plan if I was going to win the match.” Sithole played with sheer brilliance to defeat and upset top seed Jamie Burdekin (GBR) 6-2, 6-2. It was clear that Lucas Sithole was in top form. The 3rd seed South African played his fourth NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour Quad singles final of 2012 facing 2nd seed Anders Hard from Sweden ranked 8th internationally. It was the 3rd encounter between Lucas Sithole (RSA) and Anders Hard (SWE). Sithole has a 3-0 win loss record against Hard, with the last victory being at the Florida Open in April 2012 where Lucas won 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-2. An unstoppable Lucas Sithole defeated Anders Hard once more 6-4, 6-3 to lift the Korean Open Quads single title.

WTSA’s Director and Coach Holger Losch said: “Lucas always plays to win. We are proud of his determination, courage and performance. He has been working hard, and it is so good to see he is reaping the rewards.”

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