Chanel Keeps SA’s Swagger Intact

by | May 11, 2013

Magda Linette (POL, right) and Chanel Simmonds smile with their trophy, after winning the Soweto Open doubles final against Samantha Murray(GBR) & Jade Windley (GBR), at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre on 10 May, 2013. Photo: Christiaan Kotze

Chanel Simmonds ensured the South African flag was still fluttering proudly at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre on Friday when she secured her spot in the finals of the Soweto Open, before clinching the doubles title with partner Magda Linette hours later.

The fifth-seed will now face the No 1 seed Timea Babos on Saturday after weathering the storm against Nadiya Kichenok of the Ukraine, advancing in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.

Chanel Simmonds wins her match against Nadiya Kichenok(UKR) to become the first South African to qualify for a Soweto Open final. Photo:  Christiaan KotzeBoth players struggled in the testing windy conditions but it was the 20-year-old from Kempton Park who was able to adapt best, despite a few nervy moments including the third game when Kichenok managed to get the break back in a game that lasted nearly 15 minutes.

She held serve but Simmonds bounced back to wrap the first set up, winning the next four games.

“Nadiya hits the ball really hard and flat so I was struggling with that. I think we were both struggling with rhythm because of the wind. She would hit a flat ball and then every now and then she’d hit it up which made it hard,” said Simmonds.

“It was very close even though the score says 6-2, 6-2, some of those games went on for so long and there were some tough points.”

With her victory, Simmonds reached yet another milestone after becoming the first local player to make it into the last-four on Thursday as well as reaching the final of a $50 000 tournament for the first time.

Hungary’s Babos meanwhile celebrated her 20th birthday in style, easing past Teodora Mircic of Serbia 6-2, 6-3

The world No 114 took control from the outset, racing to a 3-0 lead before clinching the opener in just 27 minutes, with the Serb clearly struggling in the wind.

“I really enjoyed playing today. I think I put too much pressure on myself in the earlier matches but today it was my birthday and I went out and just had fun,” said Babos, who hopes her huge serve will show up against the South African.

“If my serve works, then obviously I’m more confident and I feel everything can work from the baseline so it is a huge advantage if it goes in because I have an 80% chance of winning the point,” she said.

“Tomorrow it will be a huge factor because Chanel plays really solid and doesn’t miss too many balls so I need to get my big first serve in so that I can take control straight away.”

Whatever the outcome today, Simmonds will have to quickly switch her focus to the clay where she will give qualifying another shot after coming agonizingly close at the Australian Open in January, losing in the final round.

“My goal is to get into the main draw of the Grand Slams, so at the moment my ranking is sitting at about 180 and I have to be at more or less 110 to get in so hopefully by the end of the year, I’ll be there,” said Simmonds, who will be gunning for a clean sweep after teaming up with Linette to beat the British pair of Samantha Murray and Jade Windley 6-1, 6-3.

“The Australian Open proved to me that I have the game to go through qualifying and possibly win a few rounds in the Slams with the French and Wimbledon up next.

Singles Results on Day Five of the Soweto Open, at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Jabavu, Soweto on Friday, 10 May, 2013:
1-Timea Babos (Hun) bt Teodora Mircic (Srb) 6-2 6-3
5-Chanel Simmonds (RSA) bt 4-Nadiya Kichenok (Ukr) 6-2 6-2
Doubles Final Result:
1-Magda Linette (Pol)/Chanel Simmonds (RSA) bt Samantha Murray/Jade Windley (GBR) 6-1 6-3


Singles Results on Day Four of the Soweto Open, at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Jabavu, Soweto on Thursday, 9 May, 2013:
Teodora Mircic (Srb) bt 3-Tadeja Majeric (Slo) 5-7 6-1 7-5
1-Timea Babos (Hun) bt 7-Samantha Murray (GBR) 5-7 6-3 6-0
4-Nadiya Kichenok (Ukr) bt Jade Windley (GBR) 2-6 6-1 6-1
5-Chanel Simmonds (RSA) bt 2-Julia Glushko (Isr) 7-5 6-0
Doubles Semi-Finals:
1-Magda Linette (Pol)/Chanel Simmonds (RSA) bt 3-Teodora Mircic (Srb)/Pemra Ozgen (Tur) 6-3 6-4
Samantha Murray/Jade Windley (GBR) bt Laura Pigossi (Bra)/Zuzana Zlochova (Svk) 6-3 4-6 [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][10-6]
Singles Results on Day Three of the Soweto Open, at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Jabavu, Soweto on Wednesday, 8 May, 2013:
7-Samantha Murray (GBR) bt Madrie Le Roux (RSA) 6-0 6-1
3-Tadeja Majeric (Slo) bt Justyna Jegiolka (Pol) 6-1 6-3
Teodora Mircic (Srb) bt 6-Jovana Jaksic (Srb) 2-6 6-1 6-2
1-Timea Babos (Hun) bt Pemra Ozgen (Tur) 6-2 4-6 6-1
4-Nadiya Kichenok (Ukr) bt Zuzana Zlochova (Svk) 6-1 6-3
5-Chanel Simmonds (RSA) bt Natasha Fourouclas (RSA) 6-3 6-2
2-Julia Glushko (Isr) bt Nicole Melichar (USA) 6-3 6-3
Jade Windley (GBR) bt 8-Magda Linette (Pol) 0-6 6-4 6-4
Doubles Quarter Finals:
1-Magda Linette (Pol)/Chanel Simmonds (RSA) bt Tadeja Majeric (Slo)/Keren Shlomo (Isr) 6-1 6-2
Samantha Murray/Jade Windley (GBR) bt 2-Basak Eraydin (Tur)/Julia Glushko (Isr) 6-4 4-6 10-5 MTB
Laura Pigossi (Bra)/Zuzana Zlochova (Svk) bt Claudia Coppola (Ita)/Marli Van Heerden (RSA) 6-3 6-3
3-Teodora Mircic (Srb)/Pemra Ozgen (Tur) bt Lynn Kiro (RSA)/Nathalia Rossi (Bra) 6-2 6-2
Singles Results on Day Two of the Soweto Open, at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Jabavu, Soweto on Tuesday, 7 May, 2013:
3-Tadeja Majeric (Slo) bt Lynn Kiro (RSA) 6-0 6-2
6-Jovana Jaksic (Srb) bt Laura Pigossi (Bra) 6-3 6-3
8-Magda Linette (Pol) bt Basek Eraydin (Tur) 7-5 6-1
1-Timea Babos (Hun) bt Karen Shlomo (Isr) 6-1 6-2
4-Nadiya Kichenok (Ukr) bt Alexandra Riley (USA) 6-2 6-0
Zuzana Zlochova (Svk) bt Nicole Rottmann (Aut) 6-3 6-2
Nicole Melichar (USA) bt Claudia Coppola (Ita) 6-0 6-3
Jade Windley (GBR) bt Ani Vangelova (Bul) 6-2 7-6 (4)
Justyna Jegiolka (Pol) bt Nathalia Rossi (Bra) 4-6 6-4 6-2
1-Magda Linette (Pol)/Chanel Simmonds (RSA) bt Justyna Jegiolka (Pol)/Alexandra Riley (USA) 6-1 6-1
2-Basak Eraydin (Tur)/Julia Glushko (Isr) bt Ilze Hattingh/Madrie le Roux (RSA) 6-4 6-4
Laura Pigossi (Bra)/Zuzana Zlochova (Svk) bt 4-Nadiya Kichenok (Ukr)/Margarita Lazareva (Rus) 6-3 5-7 (11-9 MTB)
Tadeja Majeric (Slo)/Keren Shlomo (Isr) bt Zanmarie Pienaar/Jeanna Schmidt (RSA) 6-1 6-4
Lynn Kiro (RSA)/Nathalia Rossi (Bra) bt Kim-Alice Grajdek (Ger)/Emily Webley-Smith (GBR) 6-3 (Grajdek retired injured leg)
Samantha Murray/Jade Windley (GBR) bt Nicole Melichar (USA)/Melis Sezer (Tur) 6-4 5-7 (12-10 MTB)
Singles First Round Results on Day One of the Soweto Open, at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Jabavu, Soweto on Monday, 6 May, 2013:
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) 6-2 6-0
2-Julia Glushko (Isr) bt Melis Sezer (Tur) 6-2 6-7 (1) 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
Order of Play on Saturday, 11 May, 2013:
Centre Court start 10:30:
Singles Finals: 5-Chanel Simmonds (RSA) vs 1-Timea Babos (Hun)





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