29 January 2016
— USTA (@usta) January 28, 2016
South African Lucas Sithole and playing partner David Wagner from the United States beat the British/Australian combo of Andy Lapthorne and Dylan Alcott 6-1, 6- 3 at the Australian Open held in Melbourne this week, to claim the top spot in the wheelchair tennis quad doubles final.
It was Sithole’s second Grand Slam title following his win at the US Open singles final in 2013.
“I enjoyed the match very much,” an excited Sithole told News24 after the game. “It was great to play with David Wagner again.” The partners have been playing together and against each other since 2013, developing a healthy rivalry vying for the top ranking and building a solid friendship along the way. Although Wagner won the two’s singles match earlier in the week, Sithole still has a chance to play for a place in the singles final on Saturday, 30 January.
Sithole, who is triple amputee lost both his legs and his right arm in a childhood accident. He started playing tennis professionally in 2006, representing South Africa at a tournament in the Netherlands, considered the defacto home of wheelchair tennis. The 20-year-old, who grew up in the small mining town of Dannhauser in KwaZulu-Natal, has won seven titles and risen to become the one of the best singles players in the world.
He is now setting his sights on the Rio Olympics, hoping to earn himself and South Africa a gold medal.
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula led the cheers on Twitter, with South Africans congratulating the South African king of wheelchair tennis.
Lucas Sithole, won his first Australian Open Crown. runner-up in both the singles and doubles competition last year pic.twitter.com/wfD901wtYv
— RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) January 29, 2016
Lucas Sithole take a bow !!!!!!! We have an Australian Open cup folks !!!!
— Anele Mdoda (@Anele) January 29, 2016
Yeah, Lucas Sithole you beauty!
— Natasha Joseph (@TashJoeZA) January 29, 2016