Sithole one match away from Australian Open final


Words & Photo: Bianca Morkel

South African Sports Star Lucas Sithole is a match away from his 2nd Grand slam final at the Australian Open.

The top four quads and top 8 men and women wheelchair tennis players were invited to play in the prestigious Australian Open Grand Slam event.

The top four quads players invited to the 2014 Australia Open are:
David Wagner (USA) - World ranked no.1
Lucas Sithole (RSA) - World ranked no.2
Andy Lapthorne (GBR) - World ranked no.3
Dylan Alcott (AUS) - World ranked no.21 (Wildcard entry)

As the quads draw caters for only 4 players it is played as a round robin format.

The round-robin format for the quad singles at the Grand Slams means that all four players will have to meet each other before the weekend’s finalists are decided. The top two players at the end of the three days of round-robin matches will advance to the final.

Status thus far:
Lucas Sithole, won his first round robin match against world no 3 Andy Lapthorne 6-4, 6-2 yesterday and lost to David Wagner, world no 1 today 6-7, 6-7. Sithole will still face Dylan Alcott tomorrow in his last round robin match.

Alcott lost his 1st match against Wagner 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 and defeated Lapthorne today 6-4, 5-7, 8-6. If Sithole defeats Alcott tomorrow he will secure a place in the Australian Open quads singles final. David Wagner will play Andy Lapthorne tomorrow in their last round robin matches.

In the doubles Lucas Sithole is partnered with Dylan Alcott (AUS) to play top seeds David Wagner (USA) and Andy Lapthorne (GBR) for the title today.

In the women’s division Kgothatso Montjane ranked no.6 in the world and SA Sports Awards winner for Disabled Sportswoman of the year 2013 faced top seed Sabine Ellerbrock (GER), ranked no.2 internationally, yesterday in the quarter finals where Ellerbrock won the match 6-1,6-3. Montjane and doubles partner Sabine Ellerbrock (GER) will be playing in the doubles semi-final against top seeds Yiu Kamiji (JPN) and Jordanne Whiley (GBR).

Holger Losch, Coach and Director of Wheelchair Tennis South Africa says “Both KG and Lucas have prepared well, are in good spirits, and are capable of bringing home titles. We wish them luck and offer our support to two real champions.”

Wheelchair Tennis South Africa and Airports Company South Africa Partnership:
Airports Company South Africa is the official sponsor of Wheelchair Tennis South Africa. The company is committed to a continued investment in the sport as its flagship Corporate Social Investment programme and through this partnership; the company hopes to produce more achievers like Lucas and Kgothatso ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games and beyond. Airports Company South Africa would like to encourage more young people to be inspired by the players’ achievement and get involved in the sport.

For more information, please contact Bianca Morkel Tel: 083 386 4002 or Siyabulela Nkachela 082 679 3772 or email Bianca on or Siya on . Other resources worth a visit include:; or join our Facebook page and group: Wheelchair Tennis SA and follow us on Twitter: @WCTennis.