Beaten in the first round of the Australian Open in Melbourne last month, Chani Scheepers is in action at the DGDF Suez Open in Paris, France this week, writes Mark Etheridge.
Our top-ranked women’s singles player and currently ranked 44th on the WTA Tour rankings list, she takes on Slovenia’s Polona Hercog in the first round of the $637,000 tournament.
It will be a tough first round clash as Hercog is ranked eight spots higher than her at No36.
The two met twice last year, Scheepers winning in three sets in Miami on hard court and then Hercog coming out tops on clay in Fes, also in three sets.
Should Scheepers prevail she’ll have an even tougher nut to crack in the second round where Australian Open finalist Maria Sharapova lies in wait, the Russian having had a first round bye.
Meanwhile our second-ranked women’s player Chanel Simmonds is in action at a ITF Futures tournament in Launceston, Australia.
Seeded third for the $25,000 tournament, she takes on fifth seeded Yulia Putintseva in the first round. The Russian is ranked 206th in the world.
Scheepers will take to the court in a happy frame of mind after officially announced that she is engaged. She confirmed from Paris this week, that she is engaged to Roger Anderson.
“I am happy to announce my engagement to my long-time friend and coach, Roger. We recently got engaged after the Australian Open, and plan on getting married in South Africa towards the end of 2012. I am thrilled to make this commitment with Roger, who has given me balance in my life.”
Prior to the Australian Open, Anderson travelled to Chani’s home town of Harrismith in the Free State to ask her parents, Piet and Nicci Scheepers, for their blessing. He then commissioned a friend in the jewelry business to make Chani a diamond ring which consists of a single solitaire diamond surrounded by diamond clusters. Anderson then presented the ring to Chani in Australia, following the Australian Open.
Meanwhile our top men’s player, Kevin Anderson dropped seven spots on the ATP Tour rankings list. He has played just two tournaments this year, the Heineken Open in New Zealand where he lost in the first round and then reached the third round of the Australian Open.