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.
Taiwan national team manager Henry Vom on Sunday had a successful debut in charge of Taichung Futuro, winning 3-2 against league leaders Taipower with a goal deep in stoppage-time, which combined with the results from the other matches saw the gaps close at the top of the Taiwan Football Premier League table. Besides the big win for Futuro, Hang Yuan edged Taitung 1-0, Taiwan Steel dominated National Taiwan University of Sport 4-1 and the Red Lions held Ming Chuan University to a 1-1 draw. Vom took over Futuro after previous coach Toshiaki Imai returned home to Japan. Imai, who also managed the national
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational