JOHANNESBURG – With just over a week to go until the prestigious Cajun Classic event in the USA, South Africa’s top-ranked wheelchair tennis ace Lucas Sithole is hoping to perform better than he did last year in Baton Rouge.
Sithole will be the only SA representative in the top-flight Super Series tournament which takes place from March 19 to 24.
The tournament is one of six top wheelchair tennis events on the Wheelchair Tennis tour, and has attracted eight of the world’s top-10 quad players.
Sithole was plagued with illness and tore his stump in the first event in the USA last year making it a challenging tour in 2018, but the former US Open Champion is healthy, fit and trained hard for the competition this year.
The 32-year-old from Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal was eliminated in straight sets by Japanese world number-10 Mitsuteru Moroishi in the quarterfinals at last year’s event and lost in semifinal round in the doubles event.
Sithole will play in the Georgia Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Level 1 event at Rome Tennis center prior to the Super Series tournament. The 2013 US Open champion was knocked out in the first round by Japan’s Shota Kawano in the same event last year.
Sithole believes he has prepared well for the event.
“I have put lots of work on court with my coach Holger Losch and feel very prepared. I just want to go out there and play my best.
“I feel good and ready for the challenge. My main goal this year is to improve my ranking and get back to my attacking style of play.”
African News Agency (ANA)