Melanie Jayne South (born 3 May 1986) is a former English tennis player. She won six singles and 24 doubles titles on the ITF Circuit. On 2 February 2009, she reached her best singles ranking of world No. 99. On 9 March 2009, she peaked at No. 120 in the doubles rankings.
|Full name||Melanie Jayne South|
|Country (sports)||United Kingdom|
|Residence||New Malden, London|
|Born||3 May 1986|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Career titles||6 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 99 (2 February 2009)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||1R (2009)|
|French Open||1R (2009)|
|US Open||Q3 (2008)|
|Career titles||24 ITF|
|Highest ranking||No. 120 (9 March 2009)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Wimbledon||2R (2008, 2009)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|Fed Cup/BJK Cup||2–2|
Her greatest success in a Grand Slam tournament came in the first round of the 2006 Wimbledon Championships when she came back from one set down to beat the world No. 14 Francesca Schiavone in a match witnessed by Martina Navratilova. At the time, South was ranked at 305 in the world and had reached the main-draw courtesy of a wildcard. Not since the third round of the 1998 tournament, when Samantha Smith beat the world No. 7 Conchita Martínez, had a British woman beaten an opponent of a similar ranking at Wimbledon. She lost in the second round to Shenay Perry, the world No. 62. Outside of Wimbledon, South reached the first round of the 2009 Australian Open without needing to qualify or receiving a wildcard. This was the first time in her career that her ranking was high enough to grant her access to a Grand Slam main draw without a wildcard. She lost to world No. 17 Marion Bartoli in round one.
Melanie's mother is called Sheila and her father, John, used to play professional football for Fulham (1964–66) and Brentford (1966–67). John is now a tennis coach at New Malden tennis club and Sheila was a short tennis coach. She has two brothers, Andrew and Stephen, who both used to play tennis recreationally. She began playing tennis herself at the age of six.
She attended Nonsuch High School in Cheam, South London where she gained seven GCSEs (one A* grade, four As and two Bs) and two A grades in A-level Psychology and PE as well as a grade C in A-level General Studies. She is currently furthering her education by taking an Open University course in Understanding Health which she hopes will lead onto another course in psychology.
South's style of gameplay centred around her powerful serve and her aggressive ground strokes. She regularly served aces and got many more free points from other serves which could not be returned, which made her a difficult player to break when she played at her best. However, because her serve was so high-risk, at times she served a large number of double faults and when a couple of these come in the same game it puts her at a sizeable disadvantage. In her first round match at Wimbledon 2008 against Alona Bondarenko she served a total of ten aces, seven double faults and won 68% of the points behind her first serve. She also hit 45 winners and 48 unforced errors during this match, a statistic which demonstrates her aggressive, high-risk attitude to tennis. Renowned tennis coach Nick Bollettieri saw South play during her first round match against his charge, Michelle Larcher de Brito, at the 2008 French Open and commented: "She can serve well and has good ground strokes. She moves well for a big girl but you can see that lateral movement is a problem for her. Whenever she's pushed out wide she can struggle."
South debuted on the ITF Junior Circuit in June 1999. She saw very little in the way of singles success until July 2002, when she reached her first tournament quarterfinal at The Scottish Junior Championships. Six months later, she won the 17th Salik Open (her only singles title at junior level), and then reached the semifinals of her next tournament before losing to Anna Chakvetadze. Following this, she reached the quarterfinals of her next two tournaments. She competed in the Wimbledon girls' tournament only twice and lost in the first round each time. In singles, her career-high ranking was world No. 266, and her win–loss record was 15–8.
As a junior doubles player she won one title, the Scottish Junior International Championships, as well as losing in the final of two others (the Västerås International Junior Championships and the LTA Junior International Tournament Wrexham). In 2004, she reached the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon girls' doubles, partnering Katie O'Brien. Her junior win-loss record in doubles was 7–7 and her highest ranking was world No. 335.
In 2002, in only her second match at adult level, she received a wildcard into the qualifying draw at Wimbledon and lost to Adriana Barna. South spent the rest of 2002 playing in ITF tournaments in Great Britain, not getting past the second round in any of them. She finished 2002 with her world ranking at No. 931.
During 2003, she played a total of ten matches (again all ITF) and won four of them. She again failed to progress further than the second round of any of these tournaments and at the end of the 2003 season she had a ranking of No. 851.
2004 began well for South; in her first four tournaments of the year, she managed to reach the quarterfinals, second round, quarterfinal and semifinal, respectively, before going on to win her fifth tournament of the year. In her sixth tournament, she lost in the first round before reaching the final of the next, losing to Elke Clijsters (sister of former world number one, Kim Clijsters) in three sets. Later that month she reached the semifinals of the $10k event in Antalya, Turkey. In June she played her first match on the WTA Tour, when she received a wildcard into the Tier III DFS Classic in Birmingham. She lost in the first round of the qualifying tournament to Maria Kirilenko. She immediately received another wildcard into the qualifying draw of Wimbledon, but lost in straight sets to Bethanie Mattek in the first round. After Wimbledon, she played three more ITF tournaments and reached the quarterfinals of two of them. At the end of 2004 her ranking was No. 453.
In January 2005, she played the $10k event in Tipton where she reached the quarterfinals, losing to Katie O'Brien. In April, she won the second ITF title of her career, beating top-seed Anne Keothavong in the final. Between winning this and losing in the first round of qualifying for Wimbledon for the third year running, she reached the final of one more ITF tournament and the semifinal stage of another. After Wimbledon, she played nine more ITF events, reaching the semifinal stage in two of them. Her ranking was world No. 449 at the end of 2005.
In the first half of 2006, she won the third ITF tournament of her career in Hull and reached the semifinals of another ITF event, this one in Tenerife, as a qualifier before losing to Andrea Hlaváčková. In the run-up to Wimbledon 2006, she played two WTA tournaments courtesy of wildcards. She lost in the first round of the DFS Classic in Birmingham (Tier III) to fellow wildcard Sarah Borwell in three sets, and also lost in the first round of qualifying for the Tier-II tournament in Eastbourne. In June, South played for the first time in the Wimbledon main draw as a wildcard and reached the second round by beating No. 11 seed, Francesca Schiavone, in the first round. She lost to Shenay Perry in the second round. South's win over world No. 14 Schiavone was a career-first top-20 victory, and the best win in terms of ranking for a British player since Sam Smith beat No. 7, Conchita Martínez, at Wimbledon in 1998. After Wimbledon, South won another ITF tournament, reached three semifinals and two more quarterfinals. She participated in the qualifying tournament for the US Open in September but did not progress further than the first round. Her year-end ranking was world No. 176.
2007 started slowly for South, with a loss in the first round of qualifying for the Tier-IV Auckland Open to Sara Errani (a later top-40 player) and a loss in the first round of the qualifying tournament for the Australian Open to Timea Bacsinszky (a future top-50 player). South reached the quarterfinals of another ITF tournament in May before losing to Casey Dellacqua. In June she lost in the first round of qualifying for the French Open, reached the quarterfinals of another ITF (Surbiton), lost in the second round of the qualifying tournament for the DFS Classic and reached the second round of the Tier-II tournament in Eastbourne, beating Alicia Molik in the first round before losing to Marion Bartoli in the second. Immediately after this came another appearance in the main draw of Wimbledon where she played Japanese veteran Ai Sugiyama but lost. The rest of South's 2007 season saw her reach three more ITF semifinals and four quarterfinals. She failed to qualify for the US Open for the second year in a row. Her year-end ranking fell to No. 214.
South started her 2008 season by attempting to qualify for the Auckland Open. She reached the final round of qualifying before falling to compatriot Elena Baltacha. She then went on to lose to Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn in the first round of qualifying for the Australian Open. Following this, she reached the semifinals of the $75k ITF in Midland, before being demolished by Ashley Harkleroad. In March, she reached the final round of qualifying for the Bangalore Open before becoming a quarterfinalist in the $25k event in Kalgoorlie, winning the title in another $25k in Sorrento and then reaching the quarterfinals in the $50k event in Patras. Her next noteworthy results came in late April and early May when she reached the semifinals in two back-to-back $50k events in Japan. She was beaten in the first round of qualifying for the French Open by fellow Brit Katie O'Brien. Her grass-court season began with her best result to date in a WTA tournament by reaching the quarterfinals of the DFS Classic, a Tier-III event. She defeated fellow British wildcard Anna Fitzpatrick in round one before beating No. 4 seed Sybille Bammer in the second. In the third round, she came up against 17th seed Aiko Nakamura and won in three sets. Unseeded Yanina Wickmayer beat South in the quarterfinals. Following this, she received another wildcard into the International Women's Open where she lost in the first round to Alisa Kleybanova. She entered the main draw of the Wimbledon Championships courtesy of another wildcard and gave No. 28 seed Alona Bondarenko a battle in round one. South was eventually defeated in three sets.
After Wimbledon, South attempted to qualify for the Tier-II tournament in Los Angeles but fell in the final round of qualifying. However, No. 2 seed Serena Williams withdrew from the tournament before her first round match resulting in South getting into the main draw as a lucky loser. As Serena was the No. 2 seed, South received her bye into the second round where she capitalised on this good opportunity by beating Petra Kvitová. Yuan Meng from China beat South in the third round. She followed this up by qualifying for the Rogers Cup where No. 10 seed Marion Bartoli beat her in round one. In August, she reached the final round of qualifying for the US Open where she was beaten by Zhang Shuai. In October and November, South reached four consecutive $25k tournaments in Traralgon, Mount Gambier, Port Pirie and Pune. She lost to Jarmila Gajdošová, Natalie Grandin, beat Yurika Sema and then lost to Lu Jingjing respectively. She finished the year with a run to the quarterfinals of the $75k tournament in Toyota, giving her a year-end ranking of world No. 116.
In early January, South attempted to qualify for the Brisbane International tournament where a disappointing performance saw her lose to Ekaterina Bychkova. She followed this up by entering the qualifying draw for the Medibank International Sydney, a Premier event. South defeated Akgul Amanmuradova, Kristina Barrois and Yuan Meng to qualify for the tournament. She qualified for the main draw of the Australian Open when Maria Sharapova withdrew because of injury. Because Anne Keothavong had already qualified for the main draw, it was the first time since Jo Durie and Clare Wood in the 1993 US Open, that two British women had gained direct entry into a Grand Slam championship. South made it to the second round at Brisbane after Bartoli retired due to a left calf strain at 1–1 in the first set. She was defeated in the second round by No. 2 seed, Caroline Wozniacki, in straight sets. In the first round of the Australian Open, South fell to Bartoli in straight sets. South broke into the top 100 for the first time on 2 February 2009, achieving a career-high ranking of 99. This marked the first time in nearly 16 years that two British women had been inside the top 100, following Durie and Monique Javer in March 1993.
South spent the following week in Estonia playing in the 2009 Fed Cup alongside compatriots Anne Keothavong, Elena Baltacha and doubles specialist Sarah Borwell. Great Britain was drawn into the same group as Hungary, Netherlands and Luxembourg. Against Hungary, South and Borwell teamed up to face Katalin Marosi and Ágnes Szávay, and defeated them in straight sets, thus contributing to Britain's 3–0 victory over Hungary. She was not required to participate when Britain defeated the Netherlands, 3–0, but played in both the doubles and singles in the third and final tie against Luxembourg. She beat Fabienne Thill, and followed this victory up with another in doubles, beating Mandy Minella and Thill with partner Sarah Borwell. This gave Britain a 9–0 record in their group, making them the group A winner and giving them the opportunity to play another group winner for a chance to participate in the World Group II Play-offs. However, Britain lost 2–1 to Poland in the playoffs. Following this, South gained direct entry into the International tournament, the Cellular South Cup on the merit of her own ranking but was beaten by the third seed Lucie Šafářová in round one.
She then briefly returned to the ITF Circuit to participate in the $50k event in Clearwater, Florida where she was the No. 3 seed but was beaten in round one by Japanese Aiko Nakamura. Her next tournament was the first Premier Mandatory tournament of the WTA calendar, the BNP Paribas Open where she competed in qualifying but was defeated by Varvara Lepchenko in round one. She then immediately went to her next Premier Mandatory tournament of the calendar, the Sony Ericsson Open, where she also lost in the qualifying stages.
Her next breakthrough came at the $50k event in Nottingham where she reached the quarterfinals before falling to Stefanie Vögele in three sets. She followed this up with a victory on the WTA Tour at the Aegon Classic over Katie O'Brien before falling to first seed Zheng Jie. She then lost in qualifying at Eastbourne and in the first round of Wimbledon to Vera Dushevina and Mathilde Johansson respectively. She had little success on the ITF Circuit until a Glasgow $25k event where she reached the final as the second seed. In the final she fell to Johanna Larsson of Sweden, in three sets.
She ended the year with a singles record of 20–21 and a year-end ranking of 160.
In doubles, South captured two titles in Helsinki and Glasgow, partnering Emma Laine for both titles. She also achieved a first-round win over Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko at Wimbledon, alongside fellow Briton Jocelyn Rae. She ended the year with a doubles record of 12–5.
ITF Circuit finalsEdit
Singles: 12 (6 titles, 6 runner-ups)Edit
|Winner||1.||3 March 2004||ITF Mumbai, India||Hard||Chen Yanchong||6–4, 6–4|
|Runner-up||2.||1 May 2004||ITF Bournemouth, Great Britain||Clay||Elke Clijsters||6–3, 1–6, 2–6|
|Winner||3.||10 April 2005||ITF Bath, Great Britain||Hard||Anne Keothavong||6–4, 4–6, 6–4|
|Runner-up||4.||8 May 2005||ITF Edinburgh, Great Britain||Clay||Ekaterina Kozhokina||4–6, 3–6|
|Winner||5.||29 January 2006||ITF Hull, Great Britain||Hard (i)||Irena Pavlovic||6–4, 6–1|
|Winner||6.||30 July 2006||ITF Chengdu, China||Hard||Lu Jingjing||7–5, 7–6(7–5)|
|Winner||7.||23 March 2008||ITF Sorrento, Italy||Hard||Christina Wheeler||7–5, 6–7(6–8), 6–4|
|Runner-up||8.||12 October 2008||ITF Traralgon, Australia||Hard||Jarmila Gajdošová||3–6, 6–3, 1–6|
|Runner-up||9.||19 October 2008||ITF Mount Gambier, Australia||Hard||Natalie Grandin||6–7(2–7), 4–6|
|Winner||10.||26 October 2008||Port Pirie, Australia||Hard||Yurika Sema||6–3, 6–4|
|Runner-up||11.||15 November 2008||ITF Pune, India||Hard||Lu Jingjing||3–6, 2–6|
|Runner-up||12.||25 October 2009||ITF Glasgow, Great Britain||Hard||Johanna Larsson||1–6, 6–1, 3–6|
Doubles: 45 (24 titles, 21 runner-ups)Edit
|Winner||1.||1 February 2004||ITF Tipton, Great Britain||Hard||Rebecca Llewellyn|| Klaudia Jans
|2–6, 6–1, 6–4|
|Runner-up||2.||23 January 2005||ITF Tipton, Great Britain||Hard||Katie O'Brien|| Surina De Beer
|Runner-up||3.||30 January 2005||ITF Hull, Great Britain||Hard||Katie O'Brien|| Irena Bulykina
|6–4, 3–6, [5–10]|
|Winner||4.||3 April 2005||ITF Bath, Great Britain||Hard||Surina De Beer|| Ekaterina Kozhokina
|Winner||5.||1 May 2005||ITF Bournemouth, Great Britain||Clay||Claire Peterzan|| Anna Hawkins
|5–7, 6–4, 6–3|
|Winner||6.||8 May 2005||ITF Edinburgh, Great Britain||Clay||Rebecca Llewellyn|| Leonie Mekel
|6–0, 3–6, 6–3|
|Runner-up||7.||5 February 2006||ITF Jersey, United Kingdom||Hard||Katie O'Brien|| Andrea Hlaváčková
|Winner||8.||1 October 2006||ITF Nottingham, Great Britain||Hard||Karen Paterson|| Katie O'Brien
|6–2, 2–6, 7–6(7–1)|
|Winner||9.||8 October 2006||ITF Nantes, France||Hard||Rebecca Llewellyn|| Sabine Lisicki
|Runner-up||10.||16 February 2007||ITF Stockholm, Sweden||Hard||Sorana Cîrstea|| Danica Krstajić
|2–6, 6–0, 2–6|
|Runner-up||11.||17 March 2007||ITF Gran Canaria, Spain||Hard||Claire Curran|| Sorana Cîrstea
|6–4, 6–7(5–7), 4–6|
|Runner-up||12.||30 March 2007||ITF La Palma, Spain||Hard||Arantxa Parra Santonja|| Petra Cetkovská
|Winner||13.||8 June 2007||ITF Surbiton, Great Britain||Grass||Karen Paterson|| Elena Baltacha
|Winner||14.||14 July 2007||ITF Felixstowe, Great Britain||Grass||Karen Paterson|| Jade Curtis
|Winner||15.||28 July 2007||ITF La Coruña, Spain||Hard||Marina Erakovic|| Andrea Hlaváčková
|6–1, 4–6, [10–4]|
|Runner-up||16.||7 October 2007||ITF Nantes, France||Hard||Caroline Maes|| Sofia Arvidsson
|6–4, 5–7, [7–10]|
|Winner||17.||21 March 2008||ITF Sorrento, Italy||Hard||Monique Adamczak|| Chang Kai-chen
|Runner-up||18.||4 May 2008||ITF Gifu, Japan||Carpet||Nicole Thijssen|| Kimiko Date-Krumm
|1–6, 7–6(10–8), [7–10]|
|Winner||19.||11 May 2008||ITF Fukuoka, Japan||Carpet||Nicole Thijssen|| Maya Kato
|4–6, 6–3, [14–12]|
|Runner-up||20.||9 August 2008||ITF Monterrey, Mexico||Hard||Monique Adamczak|| Jelena Pandžić
|6–4, 4–6, [8–10]|
|Winner||21.||29 November 2008||ITF Toyota, Japan||Carpet (i)||Emma Laine|| Kimiko Date-Krumm
|Winner||22.||3 October 2009||ITF Helsinki, Finland||Hard (i)||Emma Laine|| Anna Smith
|Winner||23.||25 October 2009||ITF Glasgow, Great Britain||Hard (i)||Emma Laine|| Evelyn Mayr
|Runner-up||24.||22 March 2010||ITF Jersey, United Kingdom||Hard (i)||Jarmila Gajdošová|| Maret Ani
|Runner-up||25.||26 May 2010||ITF Gifu, Japan||Clay||Ksenia Lykina|| Erika Sema
|3–6, 6–2, 2–6|
|Winner||26.||14 August 2010||ITF Tallinn, Estonia||Hard||Emma Laine|| Lu Jingjing
|Runner-up||27.||26 October 2010||ITF Port Pirie, Australia||Clay||Remi Tezuka|| Bojana Bobusic
|Winner||28.||28 November 2010||ITF Traralgon, Australia||Hard||Tímea Babos|| Jarmila Gajdošová
|Winner||29.||3 December 2010||ITF Bendigo, Australia||Hard||Tímea Babos|| Jarmila Gajdošová
|Winner||30.||4 February 2011||ITF Sutton, Great Britain||Hard||Emma Laine|| Marta Domachowska
|6–3, 5–7, [10–8]|
|Runner-up||31.||5 March 2011||ITF Hammond, United States||Hard||Mervana Jugić-Salkić|| Christina Fusano
|Runner-up||32.||16 July 2011||ITF Woking, Great Britain||Hard||Emma Laine|| Julie Coin
|1–6, 6–3, 4–6|
|Runner-up||33.||24 July 2011||ITF Wrexham, Great Britain||Hard||Lenka Wienerová|| Anna Fitzpatrick
|2–6, 6–4, 4–6|
|Winner||34.||4 February 2012||Burnie International, Australia||Hard||Arina Rodionova|| Stephanie Bengson
|Winner||35.||17 February 2012||ITF Sydney, Australia||Hard||Arina Rodionova|| Duan Yingying
|3–6, 6–3, [10–8]|
|Runner-up||36.||19 March 2012||ITF Bath, Great Britain||Hard (i)||Julie Coin|| Tatjana Maria
|3–6, 6–3, 3–10|
|Runner-up||37.||14 May 2012||ITF Kurume, Japan||Grass||Ksenia Lykina|| Han Xinyun
|Winner||38.||14 January 2013||ITF Glasgow, Great Britain||Hard (i)||Tara Moore|| Anna Smith
|Runner-up||39.||23 January 2013||ITF Preston, Great Britain||Hard (i)||Tara Moore|| Samantha Murray
|3–6, 6–3, [5–10]|
|Winner||40.||4 February 2013||ITF Rancho Mirage, United States||Hard||Tara Moore|| Jan Abaza
|4–6, 6–2, [12–10]|
|Runner-up||41.||22 April 2013||ITF Phuket, Thailand||Hard (i)||Tara Moore|| Nicha Lertpitaksinchai
|3–6, 7–5, [9–11]|
|Runner-up||42.||22 July 2013||ITF Wrexham, Great Britain||Hard||Anna Smith|| Kanae Hisami
|Winner||43.||29 July 2013||ITF Nottingham, Great Britain||Hard||Anna Smith|| Daneika Borthwick
|Runner-up||44.||26 August 2013||ITF Antalya, Turkey||Hard||Emma Laine|| Andrea Benítez
|6–4, 3–6, [8–10]|
|Winner||45.||2 September 2013||ITF Antalya, Turkey||Hard||Emma Laine|| Patcharin Cheapchandej
|Europe/Africa Group I|
|Date||Venue||Surface||Round||Opponent||Final match score||Match||Opponents||Rubber score|
|30–31 January 2008||Budapest||Carpet (i)||RR||Switzerland||1–2||Doubles (with Elena Baltacha)||Gagliardi/Schnyder||3–6, 3–6 (L)|
|Hungary||1–2||Doubles (with Elena Baltacha)||Arn/Szávay||2–6, 2–6 (L)|
|4–6 February 2009||Tallinn||Hard (i)||RR||Hungary||3–0||Doubles (with Sarah Borwell)||Marosi/Szávay||6–4, 6–3 (W)|
|Luxembourg||3–0||Singles||Fabienne Thill||6–0, 6–2 (W)|
|Doubles (with Sarah Borwell)||Minella/Thill||w/o (W)|
- Harris, Nick (29 June 2006). "South sees off Schiavone on day of British success". The Independent. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- Preston, Eleanor (30 June 2006). "South flickers then fades as home hope fizzles out". guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- Gilmour, Rod (19 January 2009). "British girls Melanie South and Katie O'Brien bow out in Australian Open". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- "Mel South announces retirement". www.sportinglife.aol.co.uk. 2 December 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "Mel South Announces Retirement From Tennis". Lawn Tennis Association. 2 December 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- "DFS Classic – Melanie South points way to glory". Birmingham Mail.
- "Players & parents". Lawn Tennis Association. Archived from the original on 1 August 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "Official website". melaniesouth.net. 1 February 2003. Archived from the original on 4 February 2003. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
- "Match statistics: South VS Bartoli". Australian Open.
- "Player Statistics: Melanie South".
- Newman, Paul (26 May 2009). "South stunned by grunting prodigy". The Independent. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- ITF Juniors Profile
- "Activity:SOUTH, Melanie (GBR)". International Tennis Federation.
- "Battling Brit trio flying the flag at DFS Classic". Birmingham Mail.
- "Melanie South makes last 16 at DFS Classic". www.birminghammail.net.
- Hodgkinson, Mark (11 January 2009). "Melanie South seizes chance as holder Maria Sharapova pulls out of Australian Open". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 January 2009.
- "Britain's South into Aussie Open". BBC Sport. 12 January 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
- "Keothavong slips to defeat in three-set marathon". guardian.co.uk. 13 January 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- "GB close in on Fed Cup play-offs". BBC Sport. 5 February 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
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