Taiwanese sisters Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan set up a surprise doubles final against Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan at the Family Circle Cup on Saturday when they won their semi-final after Australia’s Anastasia Rodionova, partnered by Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia, retired with an injury.
The unseeded Taiwanese duo converted four of five break-point chances, while saving six of seven to run out 6-2, 3-1 winners in Charleston, South Carolina.
“I think it’s very special since this is the Family Circle Cup and we’re sisters, and we got into the finals,” Chan Yung-jan told the tournament Web site. “This is our first time making a final this year. We’re happy to play well this week.”
In the other semi-final on Saturday, unseeded Medina Garrigues and Shvedova defeated third-seeded local favorites Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 10-8 in a thrilling match on Stadium Court.
The doubles draw was shaken up from the start when No. 1 seeds Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and China’s Peng Shuai retired in the first round because of an injury to Peng, and No. 2 seeds Kveta Peschke and Lucie Safarova also fell in their opener, losing to the Chan sisters.
The two pairings were meeting for the first time in yesterday’s final.
The Chan sisters won their first WTA Tour doubles title together in Shenzhen, China, in January last year, though collectively they have won 12 titles between them. Medina Garrigues and Shvedova have won twice together and have 31 doubles titles between them.
“Our strength is perhaps that we share blood,” a laughing Chan Hao-ching told the tournament Web site. “Sometimes we fight on the court, but we feel each other on the court much more than other partners, we think.”
Bosnian-born German Andrea Petkovic outlasted rising Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard in a Family Circle Cup semi-final on Saturday to earn a spot in a WTA final for the eighth time.
“It’s funny how destiny plays, but reaching a final of a big tournament here in South Carolina where my father went to college is an honor, and it’s nice,” Petkovic told The Post and Courier after outlasting Bouchard 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a high-standard match on the green clay in Charleston.
Petkovic, seeded 14th, was to meet Jana Cepelova in the final yesterday after the unseeded Slovakian edged Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (9/7).
It will be the first WTA final for 20-year-old Cepelova, who continued her dream run after knocking out Serena Williams in the second round.
Petkovic, 26, was once ranked among the top 10 in the world, but multiple injuries interrupted her career.
Now healthy again, she shed tears of joy after Bouchard blasted a forehand over the baseline to end the match.
The pair could hardly have been more evenly matched, with Petkovic winning 102 points and Bouchard 101 as both players displayed dominating forehands.
Bouchard had the upper hand in the deciding set after breaking in the fifth game and then holding serve to go 4-2 up, but Petkovic quickly broke back to level it.
Petkovic had a match point in the 10th game on Bouchard’s serve, but was unable to convert.
However, it proved merely a stay for crowd-favorite Bouchard, who reached the Australian Open semis in January.
Cepelova and Bencic were also evenly matched, as both players broke five times in a match that stretched for 2 hours, 33 minutes.