Top seeds Chan Hao-ching of Taiwan and Timea Babos of Hungary grabbed a spot in the Malaysian Open doubles final tomorrow after a straight-sets victory in the semi-finals yesterday.
Chan and Babos got the better of Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei, ranked the No. 2 doubles player in the world, and Jarmila Gajdosova of Australia 6-3, 6-3 in just over an hour at the Royal Selangor Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The No. 1 seeds saved 10 of the 13 break-point chances they faced, while converting six of 13 to set up the prospect of a sisters’ duel in the final tomorrow. Chan’s elder sister, Chan Yung-jan, and her partner Zheng Saisai of China face a semi-final today against unseeded Ukrainian duo Lyudmyla Kichenok and Olga Savchuk.
The loss saw Hsieh miss her chance to become the top-ranked doubles player in the world. She would have been the first Taiwanese to have done so.
“Really, I would have been the No. 1 if I won it here? It is OK, my partner Peng Shuai can hang on to the spot as long as she wants,” Hsieh said laughing.
However, Hsieh is still looking good to make the season’s grand finale, the WTA Championships in Singapore, with Peng Shuai, in October as one of the top eight pairs on the Tour.
“I am doing well in the doubles now, but I have not given up on the singles. It is better to keep one’s hopes on two events. If I do not do well in one, I can always count on the other,” Hsieh said.
In the quarter-finals of the singles yesterday, top seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia battled past Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas 4-6, 6-2, 6-4; Croatian No. 7 seed Donna Vekic defeated fourth seed Patricia Mayr of Austria 6-4, 7-5; second seed Zhang Shuai of China beat Poland’s Magda Linette 6-2, 2-6, 6-1; and third seed Karolina Pliskova was leading Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey 6-4, 3-1 as of press time last night.