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Chanelle Scheepers wins her first WTA title.

Chanelle Scheepers

Chanelle Scheepers won her first WTA title on Saturday morning, beating Magdalena Rybarikova in straight sets to take the WANLIMA Guangzhou International Women’s Open crown. Scheepers, the No.7 seed, recorded three set victories against Anastasija Sevastova, Hsieh Su-Wei, Urszula Radwanska and No.1 seed Maria Kirilenko to reach her first WTA final. The last few weren’t routine three-setters either – she was down a match point against Hsieh, two points from losing against Radwanska and down 4-1 in the third set against an in-form Kirilenko. “I don’t remember much about the match point. I was so in the moment. I know it was a long point, but it seemed so long ago,” the 27-year-old Scheepers said. “I was fighting every match – all of them were difficult in their own way.” Passing those tests may have energized her – her groundstrokes in full flight against No.8 seed Rybarikova, she cracked open the final with a love break for 3-2 and never looked back, cruising to a 62 62 win in an hour and 29 minutes. “All of my other matches were tough, but today was the day it all clicked,” Scheepers said. “I thought I was hitting my groundstrokes well. I was really consistent and tried to move her around. I didn’t give her a lot of mistakes.” Scheepers is the first South African to win a WTA title since Amanda Coetzer won in Acapulco in 2003 – the year Scheepers played her first WTA main draw. “The title means a lot to me because I’ve worked so hard, to finally win one is really rewarding. Being the first since Amanda is the cherry on the cake.”


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