Taiwanese hopes in the Australian Open singles tournaments ended yesterday with Chang Kai-chen’s straight-sets defeat to Bojana Jovanovski 7-5, 6-1.
Taiwan’s sole representative in the women’s singles competition joined male compatriot Lu Yen-hsun as a first-round casualty, leaving Taiwanese players to hope for better luck in the doubles.
Like Lu the previous evening, the 20-year-old from Taoyuan started well, getting the better of some hard-fought opening exchanges between two players to open up a 5-1 lead.
Unfortunately, she also emulated her compatriot by fading as the contest went on, albeit in front of a smaller and more subdued crowd than that which had roared Lu on.
In stark contrast to Monday, when cheers by Gilles Simon’s fans were often drowned out by the large and colorful Taiwanese contingent rooting for Lu, support for the two players yesterday was more evenly split.
Chang served for the first set twice and had three set points in all, but failure to take advantage of chances in a baseline battle cost her dearly as former junior world No. 5 Jovanovski fought back to take the set 7-5.
The highly rated world No. 58 from Belgrade was on a roll and took the next four games before Chang managed to hold her serve, but it was too little, too late.
Jovanovski, who made a noise like a loud sneeze every time she hit the ball, won the next game to leave Chang serving to stay in the match.
The end wasn’t long in coming as a backhand-winner down the line on the second of three match-points earned the 19-year-old Serbian a 7-5, 6-1 victory.
Jovanovski’s increasing dominance as the contest progressed was highlighted by the fact that the second set lasted exactly half as long as the first — a mere 27 minutes.
Taiwanese fans can now turn their attention to the doubles -tournaments, with Chan Yung-jan, who missed out on a place in the singles competition when she lost to Russia’s Vesna Manasieva in the final qualifying round, partnering Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in the women’s doubles today.
The No. 8 seeds face Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova and Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the last match of the day on Court 19, where Taiwanese duo Hsieh Su-wei and Chuang Chia-jung will take on Australian pair Jade Hopper and Monika Wejnert in the first match of the day.
Lu and Rainer Schuttler of Germany are competing in the men’s doubles competition.