SA stars get tough draw

2010-06-18 16:31

Johannesburg - By no means with what can be classified easy encounters, SA's three singles representatives in the tradition-steeped Wimbledon Championships have all been handed intriguing tests of their mettle when the tournament gets underway on Monday.

Friday's draw for the world's most prestigious tennis event, which the English refer to simply as "The Championship", has paired South African number one men's player Kevin Anderson with Russia seventh-seeded Nikolay Davedenko.

South African number two Rik De Voest, who gained entry into the tournament proper with successive qualifying victories over German players, now faces a third German in relatively unknown Julian Reister.

And Chani Scheepers, who performed so creditibly in reaching the fourth round of the women's singles in the recent French Open, faces doughty Chinese number nine seed Li Na.

While the South African players might rightly be rated as the under-dogs in all these matches, their hopes are raised by the fact that none of their opponents are regarded as grasscourt specialist.

Daveydenko, in addition, has been out of tennis with an injury for the best part of three months and this opens the door for Anderson to end the reputation he has gained of being "so near, but so far" in matches that could redefine his career.

De Voest's all-court game is also well-suited to grasscourt conditions and a win over Reister would give him the elusive win he has been seeking in a grand slam event for more than three years.