Proud SA End to 2013 Soweto Open

by | May 11, 2013

Timea Babos of Hungary in action during the Final of the Soweto Tennis Open at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre, on 11 May, 2013 in Jabavu, South Africa. Babos beat tournament no. 5 seed, and SA favourite, Chanel Simmonds 6-7(3) 6-4 6-1. Pictures Credit: Christiaan Kotze

Top-seed Timea Babos came from behind and broke South African hearts to win the Soweto Open at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre on Saturday. The No 1 seed downed Chanel Simmonds in a three-set battle which lasted just over two hours, the score 6-7 (7-3), 6-4, 6-1.

SA favourite, seeded five for the tournament, Chanel Simmonds smiles with her runners-up trophy on day 6 of the Soweto Tennis Open. Simmonds marked history as the first South African to contest a Soweto Open semi-final and final. Photo:  Christiaan KotzeBut the powerful Babos – ranked 67 places higher than the fifth-seeded Simmonds – hardly had it her own way in a match that featured countless breaks of serve in blustery conditions.

“It was a really tough match and Chanel did a really great job. She made me more and more uncomfortable throughout the first set and at the beginning of the second, so I really had to fight back,” said the world No 114.

“At the start of the second I was just telling my coach that somehow I will manage to win – even if I have to hold my racket in my left hand – so I’m really happy to have won the title.”

Winning the toss and electing to serve, Babos was the first to break and quickly raced to a 3-0 lead before serving for the match at 5-3. Simmonds, plucky as always, fought back to level the match at 5-5, and despite allowing Babos back to enforce a tie-break, kept her nose in front throughout.

The see-saw effect continued in the second until Simmonds eventually secured the break in the fourth game to serve at 3-1. But Babos soon broke back to draw level at 3-3 before surviving a mammoth 10th game, which lasted nearly 15 minutes, saving at least eight break points and more importantly grabbed all the momentum heading into the decider.

“When I won the game at 5-4 I thought okay, I’m back on track and can win this match, so I was trying to focus on the good things, win more points and finally win the match,” said the 20-year-old.

After giving the crowd so much hope early on, Simmonds wilted away in the deciding set, clearly frustrated at not being able to wrap up the match with her opponent in rampant mood.

The big-serving Hungarian only needed 20 minutes to finally put all South African hopes to bed en-route to her 10th ITF singles title.

“I came here to get into the main draw of Wimbledon and being in the semi-finals, I had already done that so, I didn’t just wanna stop there, so with this result I’ll be back in the top-100,” said Babos.

Simmonds, although disappointed, had plenty of positives to take away from this tournament.

“I’m a little disappointed after today but I’m just so glad to have reached the final of a 50 000 even though I lost,” said Simmonds, who is expected to climb at least 30 places from her current position of 181st in the world rankings.

She was especially proud of her efforts during the quarter and semi-finals in which she was able to knock two seeds out, including second-seed Julia Glushko of Israel and Ukrainian Nadiya Kichenok, the No 4 seed respectively.


Day Five of the Soweto Open, at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Jabavu, Soweto on Saturday, 11 May, 2013:
Singles Final: 1-Timea Babos (Hun) beats 5-Chanel Simmonds (RSA) 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 1-6
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

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