Soweto - Fifth seed Chanel Simmonds hammered Ilze Hattingh 6-0, 6-2, in an all South African encounter, at the Soweto Open on Monday.
“I’m happy with my result today. I think I played very well and dominated throughout the match,” said Simmonds.
“I’ve been struggling lately since my shoulder injury and this is my first tournament back.
“Ilze is one of our up and coming junior players and she’s done well in the world rankings as a junior. I’ve never played against her and didn’t know what to expect.”
The country's second-highest ranked women's tennis player, behind Chanelle Scheepers, kept her cool throughout and dropped only two games in the match which lasted 49 minutes, on the opening day of the women’s tournament.
“Usually when you’re dominating, your opponent might get used to your pace and your serve,” Simmonds said.
“She played good games towards the end of the second set and I just had to keep my cool and make her play and keep the balls in.
“My focus now is to take each game as it comes and see how far I can go.”
Former Witbank resident and wildcard entry Natasha Fourouclas lost the opening set in a tie-breaker, but recovered well to beat Germany’s Kim-Alice Grajdek, 6-7 (11/13), 6-2, 6-0.
“In the beginning I was a bit timid, making a few mistakes here and there, but as the match progressed I improved and started to play more aggressively,” said Fourouclas.
This was her first appearance on the court after a hip and hand injury kept her out of the game for over a year.
“It’s great being back on the court and I’m grateful that I got a wild card for this tournament,” said Fourouclas.
“I love playing here. I’ve always played here when we’ve had the Soweto Open and I’m happy I played my first game here today.”
Earlier, fellow South African Madrie Le Roux outclassed Zimbabwean Fadzai Mawisire 7-5, 6-1.
Day one Results for the women's Soweto Open, an ITF Challenger Tour event played at the Arthur Ash Tennis Complex in Jabavu, Soweto, South Africa on Monday:
First round results
Madrie Le Roux (RSA) bt Fadza Mawisire (Zim) 7-5, 6-1
Pemra Ozgen (Tur) bt Margarita Lazareva (Rus) 6-3, 6-1
Teodora Mirmic (Srb) bt Zanmarie Pienaar (RSA) 6-0, 6-2
Samantha Murray (GBR) bt Emily Webley-Smith (BGR) 6-1 (Webley-Smith retired foot injury)
Natasha Fourouclas (RSA) bt Kim-Alice Grajdek (Ger) 6-7 (11/13) 6-2, 6-0
2-Julia Glushko (Isr) bt Melis Sezer (Tur) 6-2, 6-7 (1/7), 6-2
3-Teodora Mircic (Serb)/Pemra Ozgen (Tur) bt Nicole Dzenga (Zim)/Vanja Klaric (Srb) 6-0, 6-0
Claudia Coppola (Ita)/Marli Van Heerden (RSA) bt Shannon Cox/Caitlin Herb (GBR) 6-3, 7-6