Presently ranked 237 on the world tennis rankings, Simmonds, who turns 22 in August, said she is feeling upbeat and confident ahead of this week’s tournament where she is the favourite.
“It’s great to be back in South Africa. These Futures tournaments were great timing for me. To be home for three weeks is a real bonus as I have only enjoyed a few days at home this whole year,” she said on Monday.
Simmonds will be top seed for the second of three Futures tournaments which starts on Monday.
She missed out on the singles in the first tournament as she was playing in the qualifying rounds of the French Open. However, she and fellow Fed Cup squad member Michelle Sammons entered and won the doubles.
Simmonds said that her ranking had slipped out of the top 200 as she was unable to defend her points at the Soweto Open this year, as it was cancelled due to lack of sponsorship.
“I reached the finals in Soweto last year and moved up to 156 on the rankings but when, the tournament was cancelled, I realised that all those points I made would fall off.
“It’s been hard trying to defend those points but my aim is to capitalise on the next few weeks and months and be back in the top 200 by year end.
“If I am in the world’s top 200, I will be able to get into the WTA and Grand Slam events. The prize money and points you earn at that level help you get to the highest level.”