Sun, Oct 19, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Taiwanese stars to battle for supremacy at the Taipei Arena

By Tony Phillips  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan’s top female tennis players will be fighting it out this week for the OEC Taipei Ladies Open title at the Taipei Arena.

Top seeds Chan Yung-jan and Hsieh Su-wei will be joined by, among others, US Fed Cup player Vania King and leading Japanese trio Ayumi Morita, Rika Fujiwara and Aiko Nakamura at the US$100,000 ITF event that starts tomorrow.

Chan, ranked 74th in the world, will be seeking her first singles title of the year after reaching the final of the WTA event in Strasbourg in May.

IN FORM

Hsieh will be looking to maintain the form that has seen her win ITF titles in Tsukuba, Japan, last month and in Incheon, South Korea, in April. She also reached the last 16 of the Australian Open in January, the best ever singles performance by a Taiwanese player at a Grand Slam event.

The 22-year-old from Taipei has reached a career high singles ranking of 82nd this month.

Other Taiwanese players in the 32-strong field for the singles competition include Chan Chin-wei, Chang Kai-chen and Hwang I-hsuan.

TITLE CHALLENGE

King is likely to be one of the main challengers for the title. The 19-year-old was a member of the US team that lost their semi-final clash to eventual Fed Cup winners Russia in April. Although she was born in California, King should feel at home in Taipei as she is a Mandarin-speaking daughter of Taiwanese-born parents.

Other contenders include 19-year-old Morita, who broke into the world top 100 in April, and her Japanese Fed Cup teammates Fujiwara and Nakamura.

Another player in with a chance of doing well is Jessica Moore. The 18-year-old won the ITF Rome-Tevere Remo singles title in July and is currently the third-ranked player in Australia, behind Samantha Stosur and Casey Dellacqua.

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