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Morocco final proves a step too far for Chani

Our Chani Scheepers’ great run at the GP de SAR WTA tournament in Marrakech, Morocco, came to an end on Saturday as she went down to sixth-seed Francesca Schiavone in the semi-finals, writes Mark Etheridge.

Schiavone had done well to reach the semi’s and notching some encouraging results on route.

But she came up against an Italian who is once again finding her form after not having gone past the quarter-final stage of a WTA tournament since last May.

But in Morocco she has looked more a player who has a French Open title under her belt.

She hasn’t dropped a set thus far and went on to beat Scheepers 7-6 (4) 6-1 in a match lasting 1hr 46min.

Scheepers gave as good as she got in the first set but fell away in the second set.

On this occasion she failed to serve an ace but had four double faults against her.

Still, Scheepers looks like she’ll move up a few spots when the latest WTA rankings are released on Monday.

Schiavone told the WTA website: “It’s been a long time since I’ve been to a final, so I’m really happy,” Schiavone said. “It’s good to get this far again. I have one more step to go, so I want to take advantage of this chance and leave everything on the court.”

She’ll face Lourdes Domingues Lino in the final, the two contestants having a combined age of more than 64 years, the greatest combined age of WTA finalists in three years.


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