Sun, Oct 01, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Chan, Hingis win Wuhan Open for year’s eighth title

SOARING HIGH:The top seeds saved four of nine break points and converted four of six, winning 76 of the 148 points contested to win the game in less than two hours

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s Chan Yung-Jan hits a return as she and partner Martina Hingis of Switzerland, not pictured, play in their women’s doubles final match in Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然) and Martina Hingis of Switzerland yesterday claimed their eighth title of the season at the Wuhan Open and it was a special one for the Swiss former world No. 1 as she celebrated her birthday in style.

However, the victory was not plain sailing for the top seeds, as Shuko Aoyama of Japan and Yang Zhaoxuan of China offered stiff resistance in the 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 10-4 victory in 1 hour, 45 minutes.

Trailing 5-6 in the first set, the Taiwanese-Swiss duo broke Aoyama to love to force the tiebreak, then rallied from 2-4 down by winning five of the next six points, with the Japanese putting her return into the net to hand the top seeds the first set.

When the Japanese-Chinese pairing dropped their serve in the third game of second set it seemed that Chan and Hingis would cruise to the victory, but they fought back in the sixth and eighth games, breaking both Chan’s and Hingis’ serve to force a super tiebreak.

The top seeds then moved up a gear and never looked likely to lose the decider, clinching the title when Aoyama hit her return long on the first match point.

Overall, the top seeds saved four of nine break points and converted four of six, winning 76 of the 148 points contested.

At the presentation ceremony, Chan urged the crowd to wish her partner a happy birthday. They duly obliged.

It was Hingis’ third doubles title in Wuhan after winning in 2014 with Flavia Pennetta and last year with Sania Mirza, and she is to replace Lucie Safarova at the top of the WTA Tour doubles rankings tomorrow.

“What a great way to make my own birthday present,” Hingis told the crowd, before being presented with the trophy.

The victory is to see Chan take the No. 2 spot in the rankings, her highest-ever position.

The victory adds to the seven titles the duo have already claimed this season in Mallorca, Indian Wells, Madrid, Rome, Eastbourne, Cincinnati and at the US Open last month.

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