Johannesburg – Chanel Simmonds said she was delighted with her first round performance at the US Open, despite going down to Chani Scheepers in an all South African encounter on Tuesday.
Scheepers won the match 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour thirty-nine minutes.
Simmonds said she had started well and found it hard to believe she had won the opening set 6-2 in less than 30 minutes.
“I played so well in that opening set,” Simmonds said.
“The two very long games in the second set which I lost changed the momentum and gave Chani the confidence to split sets and run away as the winner.”
It was a crunch match for Scheepers, who has battled with injury this year, while 21-year-old Simmonds had nothing to lose.
Simmonds said she had impressed herself at the tournament, especially in the qualifying rounds.
“I played a very good match in the opening round of qualifying, a tight match where I won important points,” Simmonds said.
“Going into my second round qualies, I felt confident and was pleased with the way I played and won the match.
“In the final round qualies, I played what was probably the biggest 'grind' match of my life. I had to fight back from 1-4 down in the decider against Taylor to win and qualify, so that felt real good.”
Meanwhile Scheepers was pleased to have won the match.
“It was a big opening match,” Scheepers said.
“When I saw we had drawn each other I knew it was going to be a crunch match.
“Chanel is playing some great ball and got to the final of the Soweto Open on the hard courts which she likes, so for me, it was a good win, especially coming back from a shaky and nervous start.”
Scheepers will play against former world number one, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, in the second round of the tournament. – Sapa