Title chance for Scheepers

2013-07-04 14:52
Shuko Aoyama and Chanelle Scheepers (AFP)
London - South African No 1 Chanelle Scheepers has reached the Wimbledon women’s doubles semi-finals, continuing her solid doubles form on the WTA doubles tour with Japanese partners.

By reaching the semi-finals on Wednesday, Scheepers became the first South African women to do so since Liezel Huber won the title with Cara Black of Zimbabwe in 2007. Prior to that, Mariaan de Swardt was the only other South African to reach the semi-finals, or better, of the doubles at the Championships since 1999.

In 1999 de Swardt and partner Elena Tartakova of Ukraine lost in the Wimbledon final. De Swardt and Tartakova were beaten by top seeded American’s Lindsay Davenport and Corina Morariu.

On Wednesday, Scheepers and her Japanese partner Shuko Aoyama continued their fairy-tale run at The All England Club by upsetting 16 seeds Julia Goerges (Germany) and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (Czech Republic) 7-6 (8/6), 5-7, 6-4 in the quarter finals.

Earlier in the tournament, unseeded Scheepers and Aoyama shocked No 9 seeds Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) and Lucie Safarova (Czech Republic) in the opening round and then upset No 6 seeds Liezel Huber (USA) and Sania Mirza (India) in Round 3.

In Friday's semi-final, Scheepers and Aoyama will have to pull out all the stops when they come up against No 8 seeds Su-Wei Hsieh (Taipei) and Shuai Peng (China).

Scheepers teamed up with veteran Japanese star Kimiko Date-Krumm in Strasbourg the week before Roland Garros where they won the tournament.

It’s the first time Scheepers and Aoyama have ever played together, and they weren’t originally meant to be partners. Scheepers was signed up with American Jill Craybas and Aoyama with compatriot Misaki Doi but neither team was going to get in the main draw as the deadline approached so they switched because Aoyama and Scheepers could get in together with their combined rankings (Scheepers’s singles and Aoyama’s doubles).

“It’s so exciting to be in the Wimbledon semi-finals," said Scheepers.

"It still feels a bit like a dream right now. I only teamed up with Shuko at the last minute and we had a tough first round match so we really weren’t expecting too much. But we just played our game and got through that match and just kept going each round.

“We’re looking forward to the semi-finals but we are not putting any pressure on ourselves. We are just concentrating on playing our best and enjoying this experience."

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  wta tour  |  chanelle scheepers  |  tennis

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