Kevin, Chanelle fly SA flag

2012-01-14 19:23

Johannesburg - South Africa's top-ranked men's and women's players will lead a lone charge at the Australian Open which starts in Melbourne on Monday.

Rik de Voest bowed out in the final round of men's singles qualifying on Saturday, going down to Italian Matteo Viola.

The South African won the first set, but Viola hit back to secure a 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 victory.

Izak van der Merwe, Raven Klaasen and teenager Chanel Simmonds had all been knocked out in the first round of qualifying.

Only Kevin Anderson and Chanelle Scheepers, who were both automatically included in the main singles draw, remained from the SA contingent in the first Grand Slam of the year.

Anderson, the number 30 seed, will face qualifier Frederik Nielsen of Sweden in the opening round of the men's singles.

Scheepers was given a tough draw and will need to overcome former world number two, Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, to progress beyond the first round.