Sithole to fight for bronze after losing Paralympic semi-final to Alcott
South African quads world number three Lucas Sithole’s bid for a Paralympic gold medal came up short after a 6-0 6-3 semi-final defeat to top seed Australian Dylan Alcott at the Rio Wheelchair Tennis event on Monday evening.
Sithole, now 2-13 for his career against world number one Alcott, will head to the bronze-medal match on Wednesday to take another shot at South Africa’s first wheelchair tennis medal ever.
The 29-year-old Sithole will face American former world number one David Wagner, who lost 6-3 2-6 6-3 to world number four Andy Lapthorne of Britain in the other semi-final. Sithole's lifetime record against Wagner, the four-time Paralympics champion, is 8-23. The two last butted heads in April in the Airports Company South Africa Gauteng Open semi-final, which Wagner won in three sets.
The two-time Grand Slam Champion Sithole went into his semi-final after a gruelling two-set win over Brazil’s Ymanitu Silva the previous night in a match that lasted an hour and 21 minutes but was dismissed by Alcott in just 51 minutes.
Sithole's first-serve accuracy, was 64 percent, and he committed 34 unforced errors against Alcott's 11.
“Dylan served really well today," Sithole said.
"I had too many unforced errors and double faults today. He gave me a little pressure but need to work on that, regroup and refresh my mind for my match against David Wagner," added Sithole.