Scheepers into third round | SASCOC - SASCOC

Scheepers into third round

Our No1 women’s tennis player Chanelle Scheepers is on a roll at Roland Garros.

The 26-year-old Harrismith player reached the French Open third round by coming from behind to defeat Argentina’s Gisela Dulko 3-6 6-3 6-4 on Wednesday.

Scheepers now becomes the first South African to reach the third round at Roland Garros since Amanda Coetzer in 2001 and will now play Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova for a place in the last 16.

AFP reports that Dulko, the world number 45, had stunned Belarusian 10th seed Victoria Azarenka 6-1 6-2 in the first round and looked on course for round three before the second of two rain interruptions early in the second set.

Scheepers, who is ranked 131st in the world and had to go through qualifying, beat France’s Mathilde Johansson in the opening round.

On Wednesday she broke Dulko’s serve in the opening game of the match but the players were then forced off the court by rain.

The South African fended off a break point in the first game back on court and then broke again to move 3-0 clear, only for Dulko to break back twice in succession to level the scores.

The Argentine held serve to move ahead for the first time in the match and then broke Scheepers again to take a 5-3 lead before taking the set with a crosscourt forehand that caught her opponent flat-footed.

Another heavy rain shower forced the players off Court Six early in the second set and when play resumed there was an exchange of five breaks that culminated with Scheepers serving for the set at 5-3 up.

Dulko saved two set points but succumbed on the third following a line-call that she disputed vehemently and quickly fell 3-0 down in the decider.

Scheepers was enjoying plenty of joy at the net and although Dulko stopped the rot by breaking back, the South African broke again to take a 5-2 lead and clinched victory on her first match point when Dulko looped a forehand long.