Picture: Andrew Ong/USOpen.org

South African world number four wheelchair tennis ace Lucas Sithole easily advanced to the semifinals of the French Open Super Series tournament defeating unseeded Alberto Corradi from Italy on Wednesday in Paris, France.

Returning to Paris after missing the French Open last year due to flu and fever, Sithole, a triple amputee from Newcastle in Kwazulu-Natal posted a stunning 6-2 6-3 victory over 56-year-old Italian world number 23.

The 30-year-old next meet American top seed David Wagner for the 37th time in one of the fiercest and most competitive rivalries wheelchair tennis has ever seen.

In their last meeting at the French Open in 2015, Sithole fell to the American world number two 6-2 6-4 in the quads singles semi-final round. The American has won 28 of their 36 meetings to date throughout the 7-year stint.

Their last encounter saw the 43-year-old American knock-out Sithole in the semi-final of the Japan Open last month. The South African is determined to turn the tables around on Thursday following his triumph at last week’s Toyota Open and it promises to be another fascinating encounter between the two.

“Winning the Toyota Open last week gave me great confidence – I have started strong in my opening round and hope to stick to my game plan against Wagner on Thursday”, commented Sithole.

Both quad aces started their campaign in the fourth Super Series of the year in similar fashion, with a bye and then a less-challenging match in their opening rounds. Wagner easily dispatched Anders Hart of Sweden also with a stunning 6-2 6-3 to book a spot in the last four.

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