Sithole inches closer to Paralympic podium place
South African world number three quad ace Lucas Sithole continued his remarkable run with a 7-5 6-3 win over Brazil's Ymanitu Silva in the quarter-finals at Olympic Tennis Centre on Saturday afternoon and remains on course for a semi-final showdown against top seed Dylan Alcott from Australia for a place in the Paralympic wheelchair tennis quad singles final.
Sithole, 29 won a gruelling quarter-final against the Brazilian that lasted an hour and 21 minutes.
The two-time Grand Slam champion was made to work in the first set, but the South African controlled the second set and sent the Brazilian packing.
“I was a little tight at the start, but I loosened up in the second set and found rhythm and pace,” commented Sithole.
The country’s leading women’s player, Kgothatso Montjane, seeded number eight appeared untroubled and needed just 57 minutes on Olympic Tennis Centre to claim a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Japanese Miho Nijo. Montjane was her clinical self on her way to the last 16 and waiting for the 30-year-old who made a solid start next will be Zhenzhen Zhu from China.
The world number nine had been in fine form in her opening match and impressed once again against the world number 19.
Evans Maripa, the country’s top men’s player who dismissed Suthi Khlongrua from Thailand in his opener on Friday will have to recalibrate his game as he faces 10th seeded Japanese Takuya Miki in the second round on Sunday.