SITHOLE STUMPED AT THE US OPEN 2014
The last grand slam of the year, part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis tour, delivered nail biting top class tennis. South African Ace and defending US OPEN Champion 2013, Lucas Sithole was stumped out of a place in the final with a three way tie between the world top 3 it all came down to the count; sets won vs sets lost, with Sithole narrowly missing the opportunity to successfully defend his title.
Triple amputee Lucas Sithole started his US OPEN 2014 defense in style winning his 1st round robin match against world ranked no.1 David Wagner (USA) 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 on Thursday 4 September. Sithole then faced the very determined British no.1 Andy Lapthorne in his 2nd round robin match, butLapthorne proved to be too steady, defeating Sithole 2-6, 3-6. On Saturday 6 September Sithole faced Nick Taylor (USA), currently ranked no.6 in the world, in his last round robin match. It was a must win for Sithole to possibly go through to the final. Sithole won his 3rd and last round robin match 7-5, 6-3.
At the end of the round robin stage it was a three way tie between the world top 3 each losing 1 out of their 3 matches with Andy Lapthorne (GBR) losing his last round robin match to world no.1 David Wagner (USA). It all came down to the count and the final was contested between world ranked 1 David Wagner (USA) and world ranked 3 Andy Lapthorne (GBR) with Lapthorne winning his 1st career grand slam quads singles title yesterday in Flushing Meadows, New York, defeating David Wagner (USA) 67-5, 6-2.
South Africa's top women's player Kgothatso Montjane ranked no.8 internationally was defeated in the US Open 2014 women's singles quarter finals by world no.2 Aniek van Koot (NED) 2-6, 0-6.
Wheelchair Tennis SA Manager Karen Losch said "It is an enormous achievement to participate in the US Open where only the top 8 men and women and top 4 quads players compete and we are proud of both Lucas and KG on their effort and performance. As the players now prepare for the world Masters, they know where to focus to ensure they grow both mentally and physically. Thank you to each and all for your support for these two inspirational sports stars."
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa and Airports Company South Africa Partnership:
Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) has for the 10 years been the official sponsor of Wheelchair Tennis South Africa and the sport of wheelchair tennis. Airports Company South Africa has contributed more than R25-million to date and has committed to a continued growth in the sport, helping the athletes to gain experience on the International circuit and to qualify and participate in the 2016 Paralympic games.
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa through the continued sponsorship from Airports Company South Africa hosts:
✓ Six International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournaments,
✓ Three National Camps,
✓ An opportunity for top performers to participate abroad
✓ Grassroot programmes at no less than 60 community centres and schools across South Africa