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Simmonds still upbeat despite defeat

Even though her first Grand Slam tournament ended in defeat, young Chanel Simmonds is confident that her career will blossom from here on in, writes Mark Etheridge.

The 21-year-old Kempton Park athlete went down in three sets to compatriot Chani Scheepers in the first round of the US Open in New York this week.

Happy to take the first set 6-2, she said the turning point had come in the second set. “There were some very long games and she ended up winning them. That was kind of a turning point for her because she started playing much better and putting more pressure on me.”

Scheepers closed out the match 6-2 6-2 and now plays Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki in the second set on Thursday.

“I was very pleased that I was able to qualify,” Simmonds told Road to Rio after her match. “It’s a tough three rounds to get through but I played good tennis. I was very excited to play Chani, just nervous of course because it was my first main draw match.

“She’s got hard cross-court ground strokes and good serves but in the first set I was returning well and not missing many balls.

“Even though I lost it’s given me more confidence and belief that I can compete and beat the higher ranked girls. I’m very proud of myself and looking forward to playing more good tennis.”

South Africa will also be proud to have another face at more major WTA tournaments.


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