Scheepers subdues Swiss miss

IT HAS been quite a year for top South African women's tennis player Chani Scheepers, who surprised all and sundry by reaching the last 16 in the French Open after progressing through the qualifying rounds, and catapulting her world ranking from 127th to 77th.

And not far off this achievement, according to Scheepers, is the victory she has just achieved over former world No 1 Martina Hingis while playing for the Springfield Lasers in the United States Team Tennis League.

Hingis was playing for the New York Buzz and had recorded six successive victories prior to her loss against Scheepers, resulting in the gifted tennis legend admitting she was "still mulling over possibly returning to the mainstream World Tennis Association circuit".

Scheepers said beating Hingis was still significant and a morale-boosting achievement, "particularly as she has shown such good form recently".

"I think my aggression gave me an edge," said the South African No 1. "Martina hasn't played full-time for a while, but she is still a special player and it was great to have played her."

Scheepers, who is based in Houston in the US, says she believes she is playing better and better with every match she plays.

South African Davis Cup stalwart Rik de Voest also plays for the Lasers, with the team performing creditably in the star-studded Team Tennis set-up.