Our top-ranked women’s singles player, Chani Scheepers came through her first round match at the Internatzionali BNL d’Italia tennis tournament in Rome on Monday, writes Mark Etheridge.
Scheepers won 6-4 7-6 (3) in the match played on Court One, needing an hour and 42 minutes to wrap up the win against Australia’s Jarmila Gajdosova.
Out-aced to the tune of 5-0, Scheepers had two errors in the double-fault division, as her opponent paid dearly with eight double faults.
Her first service was also more accurate and she had a 69% return compared to the Aussie’s 54%.
Currently ranked 50th in the world, she’ll now take on the winner of the match between 11th seeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany and New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic.
In the doubles competition, our Natalie Grandin and Czech partner Vladimira Uhlirova came through their first round, beating Timea Bacsinszky (Swi) and Alberta Brianti (Ita) in straight sets, 6-0 6-2.
Meanwhile Kevin Anderson lost in the first round of the men’s draw, going down in straight sets to Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero. He was in doubles action on Monday where he teamed up with Australian Bernard Tomic but also tasted defeat losing in three sets, 6-4 4-6 11-9 to the Polish/Serbian combination of Lukasz Kubot and Janko Tipsarevic.
Meanwhile our men’s player Nikala Scholtz picked up another honour this season, earning the ITA Southern Region Rookie of the Year Award. From Caledon in the Western Cape originally, Scholtz was named South East Conference Freshman of the Year earlier this year.┬á He is currently ranked No. 14 in the nation in singles and No. 13 in doubles and is the second highest ranked freshman.