GUANGZHOU, China, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Chanelle Scheepers picked up the first WTA title of her career Saturday by defeating Magdalena Rybarikova at the Guangzhou International Women's Open.
Scheepers, 27 and a professional since 2000, posted a solid 6-2, 6-2 win over Rybarikova in her first tournament finals appearance. Rybarikova fell to 2-1 in finals matches.
Scheepers took the long route to the finals, needing three sets in each of her previous four matches before getting to Saturday's final. Her wins this week included an upset of top-seeded Maria Kirilenko, whom she trailed 4-1 in the third set, in the semifinals.
She is the first South African to win a WTA event since Amanda Coetzer in 2003.
Scheepers won two-thirds of the points in serve and faced two break points, saving both, against Rybarikova.
Rybarikova was good on just 39 percent of her first serves and Scheepers won 56 percent of the points when Rybarikova did get the first serve in.
The $37,000 first-place check pushed Scheepers past $300,000 in winnings for the year. Rybarikova took home $19,000 as the runner-up.