Sithole misses out on bronze at Paralympics

Thursday, 15 September 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. – South Africa’s Lucas Sithole, ranked three in the world, missed out on a bronze medal as he went down 1-6 6-2 7-5 to the American six-time Paralympic medalist David Wagner in a grueling one hour and 50 minutes at Olympic Tennis Centre in Brazil on Wednesday evening.

South Africa's Lucas Sithole, ranked three in the world, missed out on a bronze medal as he went down 1-6 6-2 7-5 to the American six-time Paralympic medalist David Wagner in a grueling one hour and 50 minutes at Olympic Tennis Centre in Brazil on Wednesday evening.
South Africa’s Lucas Sithole, ranked three in the world, missed out on a bronze medal as he went down 1-6 6-2 7-5 to the American six-time Paralympic medalist David Wagner in a grueling one hour and 50 minutes at Olympic Tennis Centre in Brazil on Wednesday evening.

Sithole had started well and made quick work to take the first set 6-1, however, suffered a reverse in the second set, dropping it 2-6.

In the deciding set, Sithole took an early 5-1 lead then somewhat lost focus and the American came back strongly to level the score at 5-5.  Sithole tried to challenge the former world number one but could not hold the fort as Wagner wasted no time to close the set 7-5.

“I really wanted to bring a medal home and fought hard to achieve it. I am extremely disappointed about the loss”, said Sithole following his match.

Despite the loss, reaching the bronze medal playoffs at Paralympics this year was a much better result than the 2012 London Paralympic Games where he lost in the first round.

Sit hole, earlier in the tournament, produced a master class performance when he edged out Brazillian Shota Kawano 6-1 6-2 and continued his remarkable run with a 7-5 6-3 win over Brazil’s Ymanitu Silva but was outclassed by top seed Australian Dylan Alcott in the semi-finals.

The two-time Grand Slam champion will return home for a few weeks rest and then head to America for the US Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super Series event from 4-9 October.