With two South African women entered for play in the 2006 US Open, the annual grand slam already has a women’s singles qualifier victim in Natalie Grandin.
Ranked 241 by the WTA Tour, 25-year-old Grandin easily overcoming Ukraine’s 163rd-ranked Tatiana Perebiynis 6-1 6-2 in her first match.
Next up as she faced sterner competition, Grandin lost in straight sets 6-2 6-2 to Chinese Taipei’s 20-year-old Su-Wei Hsieh in the second round of the Women’s Qualifiers’ Singles.
South Africa’s other hope is in formidable doubles player Liezel Huber, who is teamed with India’s Sania Mirza for this year’s Open.
Mirza and Huber are ranked 11th for the tournament, and they will face unseeded North American pair Haynes and Uberoi in their first encounter.
Huber has a good doubles track record at the US Open, reaching quarter-finals stage in years 1999, 2003 and 2004.
Earlier in the week, former women’s great Billie Jean King was honoured when the USTA National Tennis Centre at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in a special ceremony on court.
Fellow tennis celebrities and admirers Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Venus Williams joined pop diva Diana Ross, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other notables in congratulating King.