By Gary Anderson

July 20 - Sabine Ellerbrock British Open 2013 2South African Lucas Sithole became the first African player to win an International Tennis Federation (ITF) wheelchair tennis Super Series event with victory in the quad singles at the British Open Wheelchair Championships, while Germany's Sabine Ellerbrock claimed the women's title.

French top seed Stéphane Houdet and fifth seed Joachim Gérard of Belgium also reached tomorrow's singles final at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.

Sithole was up against world number one David Wagner in the final of the men's quads, and was looking to follow up his victory over the American in the semi-finals of the South African Open in April.

In a tight first set, world number three Sithole edged ahead by clinching it 7-5 before another titanic struggle saw Wagner, the double Paralympic silver medallist, dominate the second set tie-break to level the match at one set each.

The deciding set seemed to be following the same pattern as the first two with neither player managing to force a decisive advantage.

However, the 26-year-old South African made the crucial breakthrough with the scores at four all by breaking Wagner's serve and he held his nerve to serve out the final game to win the set 6-4 and the match on a score-line of 7-5, 6-7, 6-4.

"It's an incredible feeling and I'm very proud to be the first African to do it [win a Super Series], hopefully it inspires other wheelchair tennis players in Africa to keep working hard," said Sithole.

"It was a big relief to have won as he fought hard and now I have to focus on building on this performance ahead of the upcoming tournaments in the USA."

Lucas Sithole British Open 2013 22 Lucas Sithole celebrates becoming the first African to win an
ITF wheelchair tennis Super Series event

Ellerbrock (pictured top) followed up her first Grand Slam title win at Roland Garros last month by winning the British Open for the first time in her career.

She overcame world number two and London 2012 silver medallist Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands, whom she had defeated in the semi-finals on her way to victory in Paris.

It looked like the Dutchwoman was going to gain revenge for that defeat following a blistering start to the match which saw her take the first set 6-0.

However, the 38-year-old German regrouped and came storming back to take the second set 6-2, before clinching the decider by seven games to five despite being 4-2 down at one stage.

"I couldn't find my rhythm in the opening set and had many problems with the windy weather, but I took the ball earlier in the second set and started to play more on her backhand side and I'm delighted and quite emotional to win my first British Open," she said.

Ellerbrock becomes the first non-Dutch woman to win the British Open since Australian Daniela Di Toro won back-to-back titles in 1998 and 1999.

Stephane Houdet and Ronald Vink will be hoping to add the British Open title to their success at the Australian Open in JanuaryRonald Vink (left) and Stéphane Houdet will be hoping to add the British Open title to their success at the Australian Open in January

In the men's singles competition, Frenchman Houdet overcame home favourite and British number one Gordon Reid to reach his second British Open final on a score-line of 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.

The French Open winner will meet Gérard who beat France's Michael Jeremiasz in straight sets 6-1, 6-3.

Jeremiasz also lost out in the final of the men's doubles as he and Dutch partner Maikel Scheffers were defeated by the irrepressible Houdet and Ronald Vink from the Netherlands, securing their second Super Series win following victory in January's Sydney International Open.

Sithole missed out on a place in tomorrow's quad doubles final as he and British partner Jamie Burdekin went down 7-5, 6-3 to Canada's Sarah Hunter and Wagner, who gained some revenge for losing out to Sithole in the men's quad earlier.

Hunter and Wagner will face Briton Antony Cotterill and American Greg Hasterok who defeated the all-British pair of Richard Green and Ian Payne 6-3, 6-0.

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