On Thursday 28 January, South Africa’s Lucas Sithole and David Wagner won the wheel chair tennis quad doubles title at the Australia Open in Melbourne. The duo beat the British/Australian duo, Andy Lapthorne and Dylan Alcott 6-1, 6- 3.
Sithole who has never played with David Wagner before the tournament said, “I enjoyed the match very much. It was great to play with David Wagner, it was our first match together and it was easy to play with him. I am extremely excited for taking the doubles title and again winning against Andy Lapthorne today,“
Although David Wagner already won two singles title, Sithole is still has a chance to play for a place in the singles final.
On arrival at the OR Tambo International Airport, the sportsman, along with South Africa’s top ranked wheelchair tennis women; Kgothatso Montjane and Evans Maripa, were praised by the Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula.
“Lucas Sithole continues to make our country proud demonstrating that nothing is impossible. It is for these reasons that he was honored amongst our top South African athletes at the Sport Awards. It was not my first time to welcome Lucas at the airport and will certainly not be my last as he continues to exceed our expectations with his performance,”he said.
The Kwazulu-Natal bred sportsman lost both his legs and an arm in a tragic childhood accident.
“I was helping a train driver from an agricultural storage at the area where they stored meat and wheat. I changed the railway lines, moving back to the train which was moving slowly. I fell underneath, was run over me and I lost both legs and my right arm,” he explained
He started competing in tennis internationally in 2005. Although this is Sithole’s first Grand Slam Doubles title, he won his first Grand Slam title in 2013 when he won the US Open Singles.
The Paralympic is also looking forward to the Rio Olympics where he’s not only looking forward to winning a gold medal for himself, but for his country South Africa.