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Debut title for Natalie

It’s been a good weekend for South African women’s tennis with Natalie Grandin winning the first doubles title of her career, writes Mark Etheridge.

Grandin’s victory came in the $220,000 Hansol Korea Open and slots in nicely with Chani Scheepers’ maiden WTA Tour win in the Guangzhou International Open in China, also this weekend.

Grandin, 30, teamed up with Czech Republic’s Vladimira Uhlirova in Korea and the top-seeded combination beat Vera Dushevina and Galina Voskovoeva in the final.

They accounted for the Russian/Kazkhastan couple 7-6 (5)┬á 6-4 in the final to split the $11,000 prize purse. “It’s my first doubles title,” Grandin told Road to London 2012 from Tokyo on Monday. “I have been playing with my doubles parter this whole year and we have done quite well and I’m at my career best ranking.” That ranking is currently 27th on the WTA Tour doubles list.

“It means a great deal to me to have won this title. This is what I have worked for my whole life. It is really special! I have had 10 tries at winning a title so it had to happen sometime.” Still based in Durban Grandin finds herself on the road for much of the year. “Unfortunately it is far to keep going back so I am on the road pretty much all year round. I have been gone since April so this has been a long stretch.”

There was little chance for Grandin to reflect on her win though as she and Uhlirova are already in Tokyo, Japan where she’ll play this week’s Toray Pan Pacific Open.

They’ll play Taipei’s Chia-Jung Chuang and Israel’s Shahar Peer in the first round which features 16 doubles combinations.


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