Grandin captures first WTA doubles title

27 September 2011

While Chani Scheepers claimed her maiden WTA Tour singles title in China on the weekend, South African doubles specialist Natalie Grandin also won her maiden WTA title, at the Hansol Korea Open in Seoul, South Korea.

Partnered with the Czech Republic’s Vladimira Uhlirova, Grandin faced Kazakhstan’s Galina Voskoboeva and Russia’s Vera Dushevina in a final which pitted the top seeds against the second seeds.

Grandin and Uhlirova triumphed 7-5, 6-4, snapping an unfortunate record for the 30-year-old South African, who had yet to taste victory in the previous 10 WTA doubles finals she had appeared in.

‘Very happy’

After lifting the winners’ trophies with Uhlirova, Grandin said: “I am very happy to win my first WTA Tour doubles title. I have worked long and hard for this moment.

“Vladimira and I have had a good year so far and have enjoyed playing together. We complement each other’s games well on the doubles court, which is a big strength of ours.

“It has been a good week for South African woman’s tennis, with both Chani and I winning our first titles. So hopefully we can continue this run,” said concluded.

Highest riser

Scheepers moved up 33 places in the singles rankings after her success in Guangzhou, which made her the highest climber in the latest rankings. It also made her only the sixth South African to reach the top 50 of the women’s rankings since 1990.

She’s up to 41 from a previous career high of 65.

Grandin is ranked 27th in doubles, with her partner Uhlirova in 28th spot. Former South African Liezel Huber, who is now an American citizen, is ranked number one in the world.

South African women in the top 50 since 1990
(stats courtesy of WTA Tour)

  • 03/11/97: Amanda Coetzer, 3
  • 16/04/90: Rosalyn Nideffer, 15
  • 04/05/98: Joannette Kruger, 21
  • 14/01/91: Dinky Van Rensburg, 26
  • 08/04/96: Mariaan De Swardt, 28
  • 26/09/11: Chanelle Scheepers, 41
  • SAinfo reporter

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