Australian Open

Oz Open loss won't derail Scheepers

2015-01-20 21:07

Johannesburg - A defeat in the first round of the Australian Open for South Africa's Chani Scheepers was disappointing but would not affect South Africa's prospects in next month's Euro-Africa Group Two Fed Cup event in Estonia.

This was the view of Fed Cup captain Earl Grainger on Tuesday after South Africa's top women's player was beaten 6-4 4-6 6-2 by Slovakia's Anna Schmiedlova in Melbourne.

"At 74th, Schmiedlova is ranked a few notches above Chani, who is currently in 81st position. So losing a closely contested match in the Australian Open was no disgrace," Grainger said on Tuesday.

"Chani put up a brave fight and showed there is not much wrong with her form going into the Fed Cup event on February 4."

It was former ATP tour player Grainger who was initially responsible for Scheepers returning to the Fed Cup mix after an absence of 10 years.

"Estonia's 48th world-ranked Kaia Kanepi will be the highest rated on her home courts and Slovenia also have a player who is marginally better ranked than Chani.

"But two of the eight competing teams will qualify for promotion to Euro-Africa Group One and we certainly remain with a fighting chance of success."

Scheepers said she had never made a firm decision not to represent South Africa again in spite of her long absence from the Fed Cup but clashes between her tour schedule and the Fed Cup kept her out.

South Africa had slipped into what was effectively the fourth tier of the tournament and with a largely youthful team, including Chanel Simmonds, Ilze Hattingh and Michelle Sammons, having come close to gaining promotion, the injection of Scheepers could improve their chances.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.