19 November 2018

South Africa: Sithole and Partner Fourth At Doubles Masters

South Africa's No1 ranked quad wheelchair tennis player, Lucas Sithole together with his doubles partner Greg Hasterok from the USA, finished fourth at the 2018 UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Doubles Masters in Bemmel, Netherlands.Sithole and Hasterok had a slow start to their campaign, losing 6-2 6-1 to 10-time champions, Americans Nick Taylor and David Wagner, in their first round robin match on the opening day of the ITF's year-end wheelchair doubles championship.

The South African-American pair tried to stage a fight to bounce back in their second round robin match against Bryan Barten of USA and Ymanitu Silva from Brazil but Barten and Silva were just too strong for them. The American-Brazilian duo defeated Sithole and Hasterok 6-3 6-1.

In their last round robin match, Sithole and Hasterok faced Antony Cotterill and Andy Lapthorne from Britain losing in a closely contested match 6-3 7-6(4).

The third and fourth place play-off saw Sithole and Hasterok face Barten and Silva again. The very determined team of Barten and Silva that took third place, beating Sithole and Hasterok 6-4 6-3.

Sithole has previously finished third position with partner Heath Davidson from Australia in the 2017 event.

In the women's event, the country's top world ranked player Kgothatso Montjane and her French partner Charlotte Famin had a tough opening match losing to top seeds Diede de Groot from the Netherlands and Lucy Shuker from Britain in a clean sweep 6-0 6-0.

Montjane and Charlotte went on to face Katharina Kruger from Germany and Michaela Spaanstra from Netherlands in their second and final Pool A contest to confirm the second Pool A pairing that will earn a semi-final berth. But the South African-French pair narrowly missed out on a semi-final spot following a 6-0 3-6 6-1 defeat to Kruger and Spaanstra.

Montjane and Sithole will son progress to the NEC Masters - the ITF's season-ending championship for the world's top singles players on the UNQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour to be held for the first time at the USTA National Campus at Lake Nona, Orlando, Florida, on 28 November-2 December.

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