Sithole upsets Wagner in SA Open

The South African earns his first super series quad singles win in front of his home crowd 22 Apr 2015
Lucas Sithole

South Africa's Lucas Sithole pulled a stunner in his home country in 2013, beating world No. 1 David Wagner of the USA in a quads match.

ⒸReg Caldecott
By International Tennis Federation

“He broke me at an early stage and I lost important points, but I started playing my own game in the second set and things started to happen.”

South Africa’s Lucas Sithole won his fourth-career super series quad singles on Saturday (18 April) with victory over US world No. 1 David Wagner in front of his home crowd at the Airports Company South Africa Open in Johannesburg.

Wagner made a solid start to the final in his bid to retain the title he won against Sithole in 2014. But Sithole, ranked No. 4 in the world, broke the deadlock in the second set to earn a 5-3 lead, and the breakthrough that ultimately led to a deciding set.

The South African third seed broke Wagner’s serve in the opening game of the final set and then held serve until the ninth game, when he broke Wagner again to wrap up a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory.

“I made a very sloppy start in the first set,” said Sithole, whose wife Nontobeko watched him compete live for the very first time. “He (Wagner) pushed me to the corner on my backhand and I couldn’t get any rhythm going.

“He broke me at an early stage and I lost important points, but I started playing my own game in the second set and things started to happen,” Sithole added. “I had a little talk to myself in the toilet break after the second set and then I came out to win the match.”

France’s Nicolas Peifer won his first super series men’s title after defeating fellow Frenchman Stephane Houdet.

No. 6 ranked Peifer dropped the opening set against two-time defending champion and world No. 2 Houdet. But the fourth-seeded Peifer gained momentum in the second set. After breaking Houdet in the third game of the final set, Peifer went on to claim the 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 victory.

“I’ve had two really great weeks and leaving with a super series win is a huge bonus for me,” said Peifer, who was contesting his second men’s singles final in as many weeks in South Africa.

Top-seeded Jiske Griffioen made it two titles in three singles events this season. The Dutch world No. 3 claimed the sixth women’s singles super series title of her career on Saturday.

Despite a weather delay, Griffioen seized control when play resumed, defeating the Australian Open champion Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany, 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-4.

“I really struggled with the altitude when I came here two years ago," Griffioen said. “I really wanted to come back and see how I would do this time and I think it went really well.”

The SA Open is part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour.

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