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Rampant Sithole Trumps Wagner for US Open Quad Title

Lucas Sithole US OPen 2013 photo by Takea Tanuma

NEW YORK – Lucas Sithole signalled a peak of his career with a maiden grand slam titles over local favourite and world number one David Wagner in a scintillating three set match. This was also a second victory over Wagner in the same week and a record fourth this year by Sithole.

Sithole's epoch-making appearance was a first for an African and South African at a major ITF event. Signs were already there during the round robin phase of the event with the world no. 3 posting a victory over the American world no. 1. Sithole started the final on a jittery note with David Wagner stringing four games consecutively in the first set. Sithole regained composure via a service break in the second set to lead 4-3, before leading 5-3 and ultimately sealing the jovial ordeal with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory for his fourth win over Wagner this year, to complete a memorable Grand Slam maiden win.

"I was confident coming into the final," said Sithole after ending Wagner's bid for a third successive US Open singles title. "I'd like to thank the supporters and also David for sharing the experience with me on court. I really enjoy playing against him. He is a great player, one of the best in the quads."

"Airports Company South Africa congratulates Lucas on an inspiring win. The company is especially proud to see how its partnership with WTSA has developed and grown talent over the nine-year period since it started sponsoring the sport. WTSA is developing world-class players and has put South Africa on the global map of wheelchair sporting talent," says Bongani Maseko, Managing Director of Airports Company South Africa.

Wheelchair Tennis South Africa and Airports Company South Africa Partnership, supported by The Department of Women Children and People with Disabilities:

Airports Company South Africa is the official sponsor of Wheelchair Tennis South Africa. The company is committed to a continued investment in the sport as its flagship Corporate Social Investment programme and through this partnership, we wish to produce more champions like Lucas ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games. Airports Company South Africa would like to encourage more young people to be inspired by Lucas's achievement and get involved in the sport.

"Lucas' achievement is a clear indication that given the right support, disabled people can hold their own. As a department, we are very proud of his achievement and congratulate him on his outstanding performance and tipping the scale in South Africa and Africa's favour", said

Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, Deputy Minister for the department of Women Children and People with Disabilties.

For more information please contact:

Ndiphiwe Ntuli : 082 307 6057

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Sello Molekwa : 071 613 6242

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Dirosa Lebona : 072 742 4769

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Karen Losch : 083 325 1169

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