Tennis ace will have to try again
Lucas Sithole, South Africa’s international wheelchair tennis star, had his dream of winnig the BNP Paribas Open de France in Paris, France shattered.
World number two and triple amputee Sithole lost his semi-final match to Australian Dylan Alcott 2-6, 3-6. Alcott, who is ranked no.4 internationally, met world number one David Wagner (USA) in the quad singles final.
Sithole looked almost unbeatable on his way to the semi’s of the fourth Super Series event this year. He reached the semi final stage by defeating the Italian Antonio Raffaele 6-1, 6-3.
But Alcott knows Sitholes game well, thanks to the fact that they are regular doubles partners.
In the quad’s doubles semi-final match the American top seeds Wagner and Hasterok defeated Sithole and Alcott in a 3 set battle. David Wagner and Greg Hasterok won the match 7-6, 5-7, 6-2.
In the meantime Thando Hlatswayo and Leon Els were the toast of the Airports Company South Africa Pretoria Open with their neatly woven and well deserved victories.
Hlatswayo was perhaps the more elated of the two winners as she registered her maiden title on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Circuit with Els demonstrating a total show of force to capture both the SOWETO and Pretoria opens for the second year running.
Hlatswayo played some unbelievable tennis befitting of a future top player this week, ousting the top seeded lady and defending champion, Rose van der Meer, in straight sets in the semifinals.
In the finals she squared up against rival Mabel Mankgele and showed earlier intentions by clinching the first set before dropping the second due to a lot of errors, Mankgele could however not stop the inevitable when Hlatswayo hit a backhand passing shot and clinching her fists as a signal of her happiness.
The mens singles finals pitted Leon Els against Austrian teenager Nico Langmann, a sequel to the first week’s final. Langmann captured the first set, but lost the next two sets.
This confirms Els as the “king of the South African Wheelchair tennis circuit” for 2013 and 2014.