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Paralympic Sports: Wheelchair Tennis

Olsson, de Groot seal their first ITF Super Series

The Swedish and Dutch wheelchair tennis players won the men’s and women’s titles, respectively, at the SA Open in Johannesburg, South Africa. 27 Apr 2017
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Swedish Wheelchair Tennis Player Stefan Olsson

Swedish Wheelchair Tennis Player Stefan Olsson

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By ITF

Stefan Olsson and Diede de Groot won the first Super Series singles titles of their career at the SA Open in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 14 April, whilst home crowd’s favourite Lucas Sithole successfully defended the quad singles title.

World No.7 Olsson beat Great Britain’s Rio 2016 Paralympic champion Gordon Reid 6-4, 6-2 in the final to win the men’s event.

“It’s wonderful, hard to describe at the moment,” Swede Olsson said.

“The feeling is overwhelming. I’m really happy that I have been able to play this well all week. I’m playing really solidly and I thought I did really well in making his best shots look like I could do it even better. Today my game plan was totally perfect.

“The confidence is so high – I can’t really believe it and I’m playing my best tennis ever at the moment. Hopefully I can keep it up.”

Reid still left Johannesburg with one title after partnering compatriot Alfie Hewett to win the doubles.

De Groot emulates Buis with maiden SA Open title

De Groot’s victory in the all-Dutch women’s singles final saw her emulate her opponent Marjolein Buis, whose first Super Series title also came at the SA Open in 2013. In this year’s edition, World No. 3 de Groot defeated her compatriot 6-1, 6-0.

“This is my first Super Series title so that is a very good thing,” said de Groot. “I started a bit nervous – it’s a Super Series final so there are a lot of things going on in your head but I tried to stay focused and from 1-0 down I didn’t lose a game so that was great.”

Buis and de Groot then teamed up to win the women’s doubles title, beating Germany’s Sabine Ellerbrock and France’s Charlotte Famin 6-4, 6-2 in the final.

“You always want to end the tournament with another win so to win the doubles as well and finish with two titles is so good and makes me really happy to come back again,” added Buis.

Sithole regains quad singles title

South Africa’s Sithole rounded off a perfect week on home soil. He first completed a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Israel’s Itay Erenlib to win the singles title for a second consecutive year.

“I’m very happy with the way I played from the first match to the last one,” he said. “There were a lot of challenges in most of the matches but I’m glad I could overcome them and keep the trophy at home.

“It was important for me to win as I got a lot of rankings points. This brings a lot of confidence because there’s still a long way to go in the season. I just need to play my game and make sure I win the last point of the match.”

Like de Groot, Sithole also ended the tournament by adding doubles honours, after partnering British player Antony Cotterill to claim the doubles title.

More information is available on the ITF’s website.