Chanelle Scheepers has given South Africa the perfect start to today’s Hyundai Hopman Cup tie against France with a gruelling 4-6 6-4 6-4 win against Mathilde Johansson at Perth Arena.
World No.60 Scheepers claimed what was a battle of fluctuating fortunes against No.86 Johansson in 170 minutes to put her country 1-0 ahead.
Scheepers and Johansson exchanged service breaks throughout the match before the 28-year-old South African emerged triumphant.
It was the first singles win by either player, Scheepers and Johansson both having lost to USA’s Venus Williams and Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues earlier in the tournament.
Flamboyant Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will clash with South African Kevin Anderson in the men’s singles, each having already posted wins against American John Isner and Spain’s Fernando Verdasco at Perth’s unique $1 million mixed teams event.
A mixed doubles rubber will decide the tie if world No.8 Tsonga can beat No.37 Anderson.