London Paralympian wheelchair quad tennis player Lucas Sithole, already having met qualification criteria for the Rio Paralympics, has added another title to his accolades by clinching his second doubles title in Geneva, Switzerland.
The second time Paralympic Games qualifier put the icing on the cake with another magnificent Swiss Open campaign, teaming up with Heath Davidson from Australia for a second doubles crown. The duo defeated American pair Bryan Barten and former world No1 David Wagner 1-6 6-4 (10-3).
The Swiss Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) level 1 event forms part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour and Sithole’s participation in the event was made possible by Airports Company South Africa, the game sponsor.
In the singles event, the 29-year-old was focused and determined, posting a confident win over Timmermans Hall from the Netherlands 2-6 6-0 6-1 in the opening round, before going on to outplay American Bryan Barten 4-6 6-3 6-3 in the second round. Although he could not make it a double after coming short in the quads final against his biggest rival David Wagner, he played with passion to win the title of the Swiss Open quads’ singles runner up.
The American world No2 denied the KwaZulu-Natal born star the singles title in Geneva in 2014 did so again in this year’s event.
Sithole said he battled with tough, windy conditions but admitted that there was still plenty to work on after having his new wheelchair for only a short space of time. ‘I struggled with the wind, it was very strong today and I couldn’t play my best game. I also have to work on my returns and still getting my way around the new chair,” said the world No3.
The two-time Grand-slam champion will move on to the next tournament and be joined by the country’s top men’s ace at the German Open, an ITF level 2 event which will run from Wednesday to Sunday in Berlin.
Picture of Sithole courtesy of Reg Caldecott