Top ranked singles player Chani Scheepers is into the semi-finals of the Wanlima Guangzhou International Women’s Open tournament in China, writes Mark Etheridge.
Scheepers is seeded seventh for the tournament and has overcome Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan and Australia’s Urszula Radwanka, all of them in three sets to reach the semi-finals where she racked up one of the finest wins of the year, beating Russia’s Maria Kirilenko.
Top-seeded Kirilenko is a player that she has played twice this year already. They met in Dubai where Scheepers won┬á 6-2 6-2 for one of her finest career wins and also the French Open where Kirilenko, currently ranked 28th in the world, won 6-1 6-4.
But on this occasion it was Scheepers who held sway, winning 7-4 5-7 6-4 in a match lasting three hours 23min 48sec. For someone who doesn’t often serve aces, it was a good day for Scheepers as she sent down four. What made her win all the more impressive was that she came out tops despite her having served no less than 15 double faults.
Scheepers must now fancy her chances of going all the way after having beaten the top seed. She’ll play either Chinese wildcard Saisai Zheng or eighth seeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia in the final.
First prize for the $220,000 tournament is US $37,000 with the runner-up getting $19,000.