Lucas Sithole Wins British Open
Monday 22 July, 2013. Nottingham, United Kingdom – Lucas 'Twister' Sithole is the first player from the African continent to win a Super Series title. Sithole defeated World No 1, David Wagner (USA) 7-5, 6-7, 6-4 to claim the quad's singles title at the British Wheelchair Tennis Open this weekend.
Sithole has won 23 singles titles to date, including the Korea and Daegu Open's in June 2013 and now, the prestigious British Open Quad's Singles title. Participation in events like these is made possible by the game sponsor, Airports Company South Africa who has been 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 specifically, 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 focused, determined and 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 World No. 1 David Wagner (USA). Sithole had only beaten Wagner in one previous encounter - the Airports Company South Africa SA Open in April 2013. In this encounter, Sithole stuck to his game plan and showed moments of brilliance to defeat Wagner 7-5, 6-7(4), 6-4 and claim the trophy.
In the doubles event, Lucas Sithole and partner Jamie Burdekin (GBR) reached the semi-finals where they lost to the top seeds, Wagner (USA) and Sarah Hunter (CAN) 5-7, 3-6.
Coach Holger Losch said, "We are very proud of Lucas, and believe 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."
In the same event, SA's golden girl, Kgothatso 'KG' Montjane, ranked World No. 6, faced Jiske Griffioen (NED), World No 3, in the quarter-finals but Jiske 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 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.
"We are so proud of Lucas, and know he has the talent and ability to win numerous titles of this magnitude. Congratulations Lucas, to your first of many," said WTSA's Manager, Karen Losch. "We would also like to thank Airports Company South Africa for their sponsorship which gives the players the opportunity to participate in international events and to realise their dreams," she concluded.