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Kevin draws qualifier

Kevin Anderson, our top-ranked tennis player will face a qualifier in the first round of the Australian Open in Melbourne, writes Mark Etheridge.

The first Grand Slam event of 2011, the tournament starts on Monday and the draw was made in Melbourne on Friday.

Anderson, ranked 56th on the ATP Tour rankings, did well to reach the semi-finals of the Brisbane International earlier this month but then went down in the first round of the Heineken Open in New Zealand.

Three other South Africans are in action in the qualifying rounds — Rik de Voest, Izak van der Merwe and Fritz Wolmarans. They were supposed to be in action Friday but rain has slowed down proceedings.

In the women’s draw our top-ranked woman, Chani Scheepers takes on Croatia’s Karolina Sprem in the first round.

Ranked 105th in the world now, United States based Scheepers last year reached the fourth round of the French Open in Paris. The clash between the two 26-year-olds should be close as Sprem is ranked just 10 places higher than Scheepers.

Sprem’s best performance in the Australian Open was back in 2005 when she reached the fourth round. Scheepers lost in qualifying at the Australian Open debut last year.


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