It was a case of what might have been for Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan at the Australian Open in Melbourne yesterday, with the 23-year-old giving the No. 13 seed Ana Ivanovic a run for her money in a second-round match that the Serb eventually claimed 7-5, 1-6, 6-4.
Chan, who won three qualifying matches to reach the main draw, squandered two set points in the first set before winning the second with ease. Ivanovic bounced back to go 4-1 up in the decider and although Chan managed to break the Serb’s serve, it was too little, too late, as her opponent took the 2 hour, 18 minute contest on her second match point.
Ivanovic raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set before Chan fought back to earn two breaks to go 5-4 up. On the Taiwanese player’s first set point, the Serb, not for the only time in the match, took advantage of a weak second serve to bury a forehand winner, making it deuce. A tame forehand that landed out cost Chan her second set point and the Serb went on to level things at 5-5.
Ivanovic took the next game before a disastrous double fault by Chan handed her opponent two set points, only one of which she needed.
The momentum swung dramatically in Chan’s favor in the next set, with Ivanovic hampered by tightness in her left foot, and calling for a medical time out.
A stream of errors by the 25-year-old Serbian player plus some clever use of angles by Chan allowed the qualifier to level the contest at a set each.
Another double fault at a crucial moment cost Chan the first game of the third set and after that Ivanovic always looked the more likely winner.
In what was a tight contest, the players’ serves proved crucial, Chan’s letting her down at two vital moments. Her opponent was also able to fire down eight aces, while the 118th-ranked Chan was unable to produce any.
The Taiwanese actually won more points in the match than Ivanovic, 102 to 100, but it was the Serb who was able to conjure up winners, hitting 49 to Chan’s 26, even hitting more winners (14-9) in the set that she lost.
AP, MELBOURNE, Australia
Novak Djokovic was all but perfect in his second-round match yesterday against Ryan Harrison, beating the 20-year-old American 6-1, 6-2, 6-3 to stay on track for his third consecutive Australian Open title and the fourth of his career.
Maria Sharapova was even more convincing, winning 6-0, 6-0 for the second time in two matches to set up a third-round encounter with Venus Williams.
Williams beat Alize Cornet 6-3, 6-3 in the match preceding the Djokovic-Harrison encounter at Rod Laver Arena, which will be the likely venue for her big matchup tomorrow against Sharapova.
Williams’ sister, Serena, playing in the other half of the draw, had the day off yesterday and was able to rest the right ankle she injured in her first-round match. She is set to play Garbine Muguruza today.
The second-seeded Sharapova beat Japan’s Misaki Doi by the double-bagel score in just 47 minutes, her second consecutive match at Melbourne Park in which her opponent failed to win a game. Doi won only 15 points.
Sharapova, last year’s Australian Open runner-up, had not played a competitive match this year until her 6-0, 6-0 win over fellow Russian Olga Puchkova in the first round on Monday.
She is the first woman to post consecutive 6-0, 6-0 scorelines at a Grand Slam tournament since Wendy Turnbull at the Australian Open in 1985.
Ninth-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur, who has spoken of her anxiety over playing in front of her home fans, served twice for the match, but double-faulted on match point in a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 loss to China’s Zheng Jie.
Earlier, fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanksa extended the year’s best winning streak to 11 matches. She eased into the third round with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Romania’s Irina-Camelia Begu and remains unbeaten this year, including titles at warm-up tournaments this month at Auckland and Sydney.
With top-ranked Azarenka and Serena Williams on the other half of the draw, Radwanska’s main obstacles to reaching the final are 2011 French Open champion Li Na, who beat Olga Goortsova of Belarus 6-2, 7-5 to reach the third round, and potential semi-final rivals Sharapova or No. 5 Angelique Kerber, who advanced with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Lucie Hradecka.
In other women’s second-round matches, No. 11 Marion Bartoli beat Serbian qualifier Vesna Dolonc 7-5, 6-0; No. 18 Julia Gorges beat Romina Oprandi 6-3, 6-2; No. 22 Jelena Jankovic, a former world No. 1, beat qualifier Maria Joao Koehler 2-6, 7-6, 6-2; and 17-year-old American wild-card Madison Keys beat No. 30 Tamira Paszek of Austria 6-2, 6-1.
Russian qualifier Valeria Savinykh upset No. 15 Dominika Cibulkova 7-6 (6), 6-4 and Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium beat No. 23 Klara Zakopalova 6-1, 6-0.
On the men’s side, No. 4-ranked David Ferrer needed five match points before clinching a 6-0, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 win over Tim Smyczek.
Fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych beat Guillaume Rufin of France 6-2, 6-2, 6-4; and eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic beat Lukas Lacko 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-5 in a match that lasted nearly four hours.
No. 10 Nicolas Almagro and No. 16 Kei Nishikori also moved on, while No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz of Poland rallied from two sets down to overpower India’s Somdev Devvarman 6-7, 3-6, 6-1, 6-0, 7-5.
Also advancing were No. 22 Fernando Verdasco, No. 28 Marcos Baghdatis, No. 31 Radek Stepanek and No. 32 Julien Benneteau. Stepanek beat Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 and will next play Djokovic.
No. 20 Sam Querrey advanced when fellow American Brian Baker retired in the second set with a right-knee injury.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017