Chani out to climb | SASCOC - SASCOC

Chani out to climb

By Mark Etheridge

Top-ranked South African singles player Chani Scheepers will be hoping her march up the world rankings continues Sunday when she starts her China Open campaign in Beijing.

Scheepers boasts her highest WTA ranking to date, 41st after capturing her debut Tour title, the Guanzhou Open also in China, last week.

Speaking on the eve of her opening match, Scheepers told Road to London 2012: “I’m so happy to have won my 1st title. I took a lot of confidence into the Guangzhou tournament after my 3rd round US Open performance, especially after the match against Francesca Schiavone.

“I competed hard every point, and made my opponents beat me. The title in Guangzhou also gave me a true indication of where my fitness level is. I played three hours plus in four of the five matches, and managed to still stay mentally strong throughout each marathon match.

“I’m going to Beijing with the same approach, and look forward to the remaining challenges for the rest of the season.”

Coach Roger Anderson is also a happy man: “I’m very proud of Chani’s effort the past three months. She has persisted with working on her game, her fitness, and her mental approach to the modern game. She has come a long way, but this is only just the beginning. I look forward to what the future holds for Chani.”

Scheepers came through qualifying easily enough, beating Hungary’s Greta Arn 6-4 6-1 in her final qualifying match and opens her campaign at the $4.5-million tournamen on centre-court where she follows US Open champion Sam Stosur and takes on Chinese wild card Yue-Yue Hu a player ranked a lowly 327.

Meanwhile our second-ranked player, Chanel Simmmonds, is into Sunday’s final of the $25,000 Garuda International tournament in Djakarta, Indonesia.

She beat fifth-seeded Ayu-Fani Damayanti 6-1 6-3 to make the final. “It was very similar to my quarter-final match,” she said. “Ayu-Fani hit very hard and flat and I had to make her hit the ball at shoulder height then she would quickly miss the ball.

“But I have a tough final tomorrow, playing Tammy Hendler from Belgium.”

Currently, Simmonds is ranked 248th on the WTA Tour rankings, 38 spots higher than Hendler.