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Chanelle wins, Kevin loses
- Updated: May 23, 2010
Ranked just 131st in the world, qualifier Chanelle Scheepers became the first South African woman in more than six years to win a Grand Slam match when she reached the second round of the French Open by beating Mathilde Johansson on Sunday.
Scheepers, 26, posted her first ever victory at a Grand Slam event by downing France’s Johansson 6-2, 6-4.
AFP reports that Amanda Coetzer was the last woman from South Africa to win a match at a Grand Slam when she made the second round at the Australian Open in 2004.
No South African had reached the second round in the women’s draw at Roland Garros since Coetzer and Joannette Kruger nine years ago.
Scheepers — the highest-ranked player from South Africa — is making her third Grand Slam main-draw appearance. She lost to Elena Dementieva in the first round last year at Roland Garros.
Scheepers will now face Argentina’s Gisela Dulko, who upset 10th-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-1, 6-2.
“I know that she’s already won four matches because she qualified in the qualifying round,” Dulko said. “My brother watched her match today so he’s going to give me feedback. I’ll take time to analyze her game.”
Scheepers’s fellow South African, Kevin Anderson, was not as fortunate, going out in the first round. Making his debut at Roland Garros, the top-ranked SA player went down to Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin.
Ranked 93rd in the world compared to the Frenchman’s 127, the tall Anderson went down 1-6 4-6 6-3 7-6 6-1.
South Africa is well represented in the doubles competition with Jeff Coetzee, Rik de Voest, Wesley Moodie and Natalie Grandin all doing duty.