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Chanel into quarters

Our second ranked women’s tennis player, Chanel Simmonds had one of the best wins of her career in the United States this week, writes Mark Etheridge.

The young Johannesburg player, who has been campaigning a fair deal on the Far East circuit, recently switched Asia for America and has now reached the quarter-finals in the $50,000 Lexington Kentucky tournament on the ITF Women’s Circuit.

Simmonds, who turns 19 in August, is ranked 247th on the WTA rankings and caused an upset by beating the number one seed American Melanie Oudin in three hard-fought sets 7-6 (4) 2-6 6-3.

Oudin is currently ranked 100th on the WTA list, the sixth highest in the United States. Simmonds then went on to beat the currently unranked Lauren Embree, also from the US 6-7 (3) 6-0 6-2.

Her next hurdle will now be against another American Amanda Fink. And with Fink ranked a lowly 401st on the rankings Simonds will favour her chances of making the semi-finals. The two haven’t played each other until now.

Simmonds has also teamed up with American Macall Harkins who did not qualify for singles. The pair have combined well and have made it to the semi-finals of the doubles.

In her last tournament, the ITF Waterloo tournament in Canada earlier this month, Simmonds reached the quarter-finals before going down to Slovenian player Petra Rampre in straight sets.


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