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SA duo fall in Paris

It was a bad day at the office for South African tennis at the French Open in Paris on Thursday.

Our top-ranked women’s player, Chani Scheepers and top-seeded doubles player, Wesley Moodie both saw their hopes snuffed out on the red clay-courts of Roland Garros, writes Mark Etheridge.

Scheepers, who started the week ranked 65th in the world, her highest to date, lost in the second round, going down to Russian Maria Kirilenko in straight sets.

The scoreline was 6-1 6-4 in favour of the Russian 25th seed. In a match lasting 1hr and 22min. The first set was wrapped up in just 35 minutes and the second took 12 minutes longer.

Last year Scheepers progressed as far as the fourth round of this competition, her best result in a grand slam competition.

Kirilenko sent down two aces compared to none by the South African and the pair were both double-faulted on two occasions.

The unforced errors column showed the big difference, the 27 committed by Scheepers was almost double that of Kirilenko. Scheepers also only had a 38% win rate on her first service compared to 64% by Kirilenko.

Earlier in the day Moodie crashed out in the first round of the men’s double competition. Teamed with his regular doubles partner, Dick Norman of Belgium, they went down in straight sets the South American combination of Juan Cabal and Eduardo Schwank.

The unseeded Colombian/Argentinian team knocked out the eighth seeds in straight sets, 7-6 (4) 6-3 in a match lasting 1hr 25min. Moodie and Norman were outperformed in most aspects of the game, bar the aces count (4-1 in their favour).

Their first service percentage of 63% was matched by the South Americans’ 74% who also had an 84% success rate on first service compared to 76% by Moodie and Norman.

There were precious few break-point opportunities for Moodie and Norman. The one they had they failed to convert while Cabal and Schwank could only cash in one of four opportunities.


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