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Rik, Chanelle out of Open

Davis Cup player Rik de Voest and our top-ranked women’s tennis player Chanelle Scheepers are both out of the US Open.

Mark Etheridge writes that they both lost their first round matches on Tuesday. De Voest put up a huge fight against 31st seed David Nalbandian of Argentina before losing a five-setter while Scheepers went down in straight sets to Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova.

De Voest, who came through the qualifying rounds last week, went down 7-6 3-6 6-4 6-7 6-4 in a match that lasted a minute shy of four hours.

He served up nine aces compared to Nalbandian’s seven and also had the higher first serve percentage (66% to 56%). It was in the number of winners that the disparity showed, Nalbandian hitting 69 winners compared to 27.

Nalbandian now goes on to play Florent Serra of France in the second round. De Voest still has Davis Cup action to look forward to when South Africa play Germany in Stuttgart next month.

Scheepers meanwhile, lost 6-3 6-4 to the imposing Amanmuradova in a match lasting 86 minutes. In the French Open earlier this year Scheepers had done extremely well to progress through to the fourth round.

Amanmuradova now plays 31st seed, Kaia Kanepi of Estonia in the second round.