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Coetzee’s winning start

By Mark Etheridge

Our doubles ace Jeff Coetzee has advanced to the second round of the doubles tennis competition in the ATP Studena Croatia Open in Umag.

Teaming up with Britain’s Jamie Murray, older brother of world top-10 player Andy, Coetzee beat the Ukraine/French coupling of Alexandr Dolgopolov and Stephane Robert 7-6 (4) 6-1.

They now play the winners of the match between Italians Simone Bolelli and Potito Starce and the fourth seeds Phillipp Marx and Igor Zelenay (Ger/Svk). in the next round. The purse for victory in the doubles category is US$21,650.

Coetzee left South Africa last week to play a few European tournaments ahead of the year’s final Grand Slam tournament, the US Open, at Flushing Meadow at the end of August. He was supposed to leave a week earlier but opted to give his troublesome hamstring another week to recover.

Said Coetzee after his win: “It was nice to be back playing. I hurt my hammy again, not as bad but still very stiff .I don’t feel too bad today (it’s a day off) so taking it very easy today. Tough on the clay for the hammy — sliding around a lot.”

Meanwhile in the US, our top-ranked women’s player, Chani Scheepers, went down in the first round of the Bank of the West Classic tournament in Stanford. Scheepers who did well to reach the fourth round of the French Open earlier this year, went down 7-5 4-6 6-3 to third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska.

Radwanksa’s reward was a second round match-up against fifth-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova.