No pressure, Chanelle!


South Africa’s last hope for a Wimbledon title rests on the shoulders of Chanelle Scheepers (29), who’s playing at 2 pm (South African time) for a place in the final of the women’s doubles.

In the first Grand Slam semifinal of her career, she and her doubles partner, Shuko Aoyama of Japan, will face off against Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and Peng Shuai of China.

The achievement is so much more remarkable not only because Shuko has never been able to progress beyond the second round of a Grand Slam, but also because the pair only decided at the last moment to enter the championship.

“We’re looking forward to the semifinals, but we are not putting any pressure on ourselves,” Chanelle told yesterday. “We are just concentrating on playing our best and enjoying this experience.”

Although Chanelle was steamrolled in the singles at this year’s Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, in 2010 she made the fourth round at the French Open and in the same year reached the third round in the doubles at Wimbledon.

South Africa has a good record in the Wimbledon women’s doubles: Liezl Huber won the title in 2005 and 2007 together with Cara van Black of Zimbabwe.

–Christiaan Boonzaier

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