Chani into 2nd round | SASCOC - SASCOC

Chani into 2nd round

Chani Scheepers, our top-ranked women’s tennis player, went through to the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Monday.

Despite losing the first set 4-6 to Croatian Karolina Sprem, Scheepers bounced back to take the next two sets 6-4 and 6-2 in a match that lasted two hours and seven minutes, writes Mark Etheridge.

The win will do much for 107th-ranked Scheepers as Sprem is 12 places higher than her in the WTA Tour rankings.

Despite being outgunned 8-0 in the aces department, Scheepers had a first service percentage of 77%, way better than her opponent’s 54%. There was also a high percentage of double-faults from both players — seven by Scheepers and 11 by Sprem.

Scheepers, 26, will now come up against Regina Kulikova after the Russian accounted for 28th seeded Daniel Hantuchova of Slovakia in the first round. Kulikova is ranked 114th in the world which might make things a bit easier for Scheepers.

Scheepers’s best performance at a grand slam event came at last year’s French Open in Paris where she reached the fourth round.

Our sole representative in the men’s draw is 56th ranked Kevin Anderson and he’ll play top-seeded qualifier Blaz Kavcic and Anderson will be out to make sure he’s not the Slovenian’s second South African victim. Kavcic beat South African Rik de Voest in the second round of qualifying play.

In the men’s doubles, our Wesley Moodie and Belgium’s Dick Norman are back in action and seeded ninth for the tournament. They’ll play unseeded Xavier Malisse (also of Belgium) and Britain’s Jamie Murray in the first round.