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Schnyder soars into top 20

Schnyder saw off three players from the world's top ten in Charleston


Switzerland's Patty Schnyder has leapt 13 places in the latest world tennis rankings following her amazing run to the final of the WTA tournament in Charleston.

The Swiss number two is now ranked 17th in the world after defeating three of the world's top ten players at the prestigious American tournament. Having dumped home favourites Jennifer Capriati and Serena Williams out of the event along with French star Amelie Mauresmo, Schnyder was unable to clinch the Charleston title.

In Sunday's final, the 23-year-old from Basel was herself the victim of a minor upset - crashing out in straight sets (6-7, 4-6) to Croatia's Iva Majoli.

Ranked 58th in the world going into the final, Majoli was on Monday pushed up to 33rd position. Coincidentally, the title victory was her first on the WTA tour since her famous upset of Swiss number one Martina Hingis in the 1997 French Open final.

Despite having lost the first ever top tier final to be contested between two unseeded players, Schnyder was understandably happy with her performances throughout the week.

"I couldn't have expected to have played the way I did (against Williams and Capriati)," Schnyder said after the final. "I thought I could win the whole thing, but I lived so many great moments during the week and it's been the best week of my life."

New high for Casanova

Schnyder's Fed Cup team-mate Myriam Casanova has also been rewarded with a massive leap up the rankings after a similarly amazing week in Budapest.

Ranked 348th in the world just seven days ago, the 16-year-old from St Gallen shot up 139 places on Monday to 209th position.

Casanova was also a losing finalist on Sunday, going out in three sets (2-6, 6-3, 4-6) to Germany's Martina Müller (WTA 77). Although the WTA event in Budapest is nowhere near as prestigious as the Charleston tournament, Casanova's run to the final was scarcely less impressive than Schnyder's.

Prior to her appearance in the Hungarian capital, the Swiss teenager had never managed to qualify for the main draw of a WTA competition. With seven victories (including the qualifying phase) and wins over two players from within the world's top 100, Casanova was able to look back on the most successful debut ever by a Swiss player.

"It's incredible," the youngster beamed after Sunday's final, "that I could play a whole week at this top level and beat players from the top 100. Despite losing the final I'm of course delighted."

Schnyder's return to form and the emergence of Casanova appear to have also come at a good time for Swiss tennis as a whole. This weekend both women, along with Emmanuelle Gagliardi and Myriam's older sister Daniela Casanova, are set to represent Switzerland in a first round Fed Cup tie against Slovakia.

swissinfo with agencies

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