Sat, Jan 22, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Taiwanese women roll on, but Lu exits

END OF THE ROAD:Taiwanese No. 1 Lu Yen-hsun was unable to match his female compatriots, as he and partner Rainer Schuettler lost in straight sets in the men’s doubles

By Tony Phillips  /  STAFF REPORTER, IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

All three Taiwanese players in the women’s doubles reached the third round of the Australian Open yesterday after No. 8 seeds Chan Yung-jan and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland beat Sweden’s Johanna Larsson and Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 6-1, while Hsieh Su-wei and Chuang Chia-jung pulled off an impressive 6-2, 6-2 win against 13th-seeded Russians Elena Vesnina and Vera Zvonareva.

Chuang enjoyed further success later in the day when she teamed up with Belgian Dick Norman to defeat Australian duo Alicia Molik and Peter Luczak 6-3, 3-6, (13/11) in front of a partisan full house on Show Court 2.

Sadly, Lu Yen-hsun was unable to match his female compatriots, as he and Rainer Schuettler of Germany lost in straight sets to No. 5 seeds Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland in the men’s doubles.

Chan and Radwanska hardly put a foot wrong in the first set of their match, breaking Arvidsson’s serve in the second game and giving precious few opportunities to their opponents, but the Swedes played pretty well until the eighth game, when Larsson served to stay in the set.

The 22-year-old, ranked No. 103 in the world in doubles, picked a bad time to hit the first double fault of the match to make it 15-30 and an even worse time to do the same thing again to leave the Swedish duo having to save two set points.

To add injury to insult, Larsson’s second serve hit her partner on the back of the head.

Larsson redeemed herself somewhat by saving the first set point, but on the next Chan hit a great forehand straight at the Swede’s feet and she could only put her return into the net.

Arvidsson and Larsson managed to cancel out an earlier break in the fifth game of the second set, but Arvidsson dropped her serve for the third time in the next game to leave Chan to serve for the match.

On the first match point at 40-15, Radwanska put away a smash to secure the victory much to the delight of a small contingent of Taiwanese fans.

After the match, Chan said that she felt she and Radwanska had dealt with the bright and breezy conditions better than their opponents.

“We were moving a lot at the net and used the wind pretty well,” Chan said. “When I served, I was looking into the sun, but my first-serve percentage was pretty high. I think they had more problems with the sun.”

Chan explained how she had learned from her defeat in the final round of qualifying in the singles, when she had experienced problems serving into the sun.

“It was on the same court at about the same time, so I knew I would face the sun again,” she said. “I practiced a bit before the match serving into the sun and I think it helped.”

SINGLES MATCHES

AP, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

Venus Williams lasted just seven points in her third-round match yesterday at the Australian Open, forced to retire with the stomach or thigh muscle injury that she suffered two days earlier.

After having lost the first game to Andrea Petkovic of Germany and trailing 30-0 in the second, Williams stretched to the right to return a serve, hit the ball and then cried out in pain, clutching toward her stomach on the right side.

It marked the first time that Williams has retired in a Grand Slam singles match.

Her right thigh was already heavily bandaged from the injury she sustained in the first set of her second-round match on Wednesday, when she managed to beat Sandra Zahlavova in three sets.

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