POTCHEFSTROOM, February 19, 2021
South Africa’s leading women’s player Chanel Simmonds claimed her Ilana Kloss International semi-final spot as she fought to a 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 victory against Jesika Maleckova of the Czech Republic on Friday.
The 28-year-old Simmonds was kept on her toes for two sets by the Czech, before strolling through the decider to advance to the last four stage at the North-West University in Potchefstroom.
“My opponent today was quite tricky, she hit the ball really hard and flat and she had a really good serve, so I had to be ready for the fast ball and I had to try vary the shots because she locks the balls fast back,” said the elated Simmonds following her match.
“I played a very good first set, to win 7-5, then I just felt my serve let me down a little bit (in the second set), so she was taking control in the beginning of the points.
“I lost the second set but then the third set was quite close, but I went down 4-3 and then I managed to play three very good games to win 6-4.
“I am very happy with my semifinal result. It’s been a while since I have made semifinals in an ITF $25,000 event and even better to make it here in Potchefstroom.
“I am looking forward to tomorrow’s match.
This is Simmonds’ first semifinal appearance in two years in an ITF World Tennis Tour W25 event since South Korea in 2019.
Simmonds will next face Carol Zhao of Canada, who defeated fourth seed Reka-Luka Jani of Hungary 6-4, 0-6, 6-3.
Former World No. 153 Kathinka Von Deichmann of Liechtenstein also booked her spot in the semifinals with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over top seed Lesley Kerkhove.
The Dutch top seed sprayed her shots all over the court and never found her rhythm against Van Deichmann.
In the last four, the 26-year-old Van Deichmann will face Spanish sixth seed and last week’s champion Nuria Parrizas-Diaz, who eased past Anastasia Zakharova of Russia.
Potch Open semis are set
In the Potch Open, Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili stumbled but recovered to win through 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3 against Akira Santillan of Australia to advance to the semifinal round of the ATP Challenger 80 event.
The Russian next plays Canadian fourth seed Liam Broady of Great Britain for a place in the final.
Broady came back from the brink of defeat to win three-set thriller 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 against Spanish Adrian Menendez-Maceiras.
Elsewhere, Austrian qualifier Lucas Miedler battled back from a set down to defeat Bulgarian Dimitar Kuzmanov 5-7, 6-2, 6-2. US-American Jenson Brooksby beat seventh seed Cem Ilkel of Turkey 6-1, 6-4.
After dropping the first set, 🇦🇹 qualifier Lucas Miedler battles his way into the Potch Open semifinal.
He beats 🇧🇬Dimitar Kuzmanov 5-7, 6-2, 6-2.
— Tennis South Africa (@TennisSA) February 19, 2021