Top South African quads player Lucas Sithole is prepared to fight in his bid to defend his title at the Japan Open. Sithole will jet-off to Japan this weekend to play in the Japan Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super Series event part of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour to be staged at Lizuka, Japan, from 12-17 May 2015. In last year’s Japan Open, Sithole ended world number one David Wagner’s sequence of seven successive Japan Open titles when the world number four clinched his first Japan Open tittle.
The country’s top player says the SA Open victory gave him more confidence going into the tournament. Sithole says: ‘Last year’s Japan Open win and the recent title at the Airports Company South Africa SA Open gave me more confidence that I can do it.’ Sithole recorded his first Super Series title of the year when he toppled Wagner in last month’s SA Open final as the 28-year-old fought back to prevail 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Sithole will battle familiar faces such as Wagner for this year’s line-up, which also includes top 10-world ranked quads players such as Australian Dylan Alcott, ranked second globally, Brit’s Jamie Burdekin and Greg Hasterok. Sithole will be the only player representing South Africa at the tournament which will have Men singles and doubles, Women singles and doubles, Quads singles and doubles.
Photo: Lucas Sithole will be looking to retain the title of the Japan Open next week.
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott