Sat, May 17, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Hsieh’s reign as world No. 1 starts with loss in Rome

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter

Hsieh Su-wei’s first match after reaching the top of the WTA Tour doubles rankings did not turn out as she would have wanted on Thursday as the Taiwanese star crashed out of the Internazionali d’Italia in Rome.

Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan knocked out top seeds and defending champions Hsieh and Peng Shuai of China in the second round at the Foro Italico.

Since being confirmed as joint world No. 1s last week, things have not exactly gone to plan for Hsieh and Peng, whose 6-4, 6-3 defeat to Medina Garrigues and Shvedova followed hot on the heels of a surprise exit in Madrid at the hands of Spanish wild-cards Carla Suarez Navarro and Garbine Muguruza.

After an early exchange of breaks, a run of three straight games saw Medina Garrigues and Shvedova take charge of the first set. They continued to dominate proceedings in the second, breaking serve three more times to run out surprisingly comfortable victors after 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Last year’s runners-up, Italian duo Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, continued their excellent start to the clay-court season with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Croatia’s Darija Jurak and Megan Moulton-Levy of the US.

It was the Italian pairing’s ninth straight win and it set up a rematch with their defeated opponents in last month’s final in Stuttgart — Zimbabwe’s Cara Black and Sania Mirza of India.

Elsewhere, there were wins for third-seeded Russian duo Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who edged wild-card pairing Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and Alisa Kleybanova of Russia 7-5, 6-4, while eighth-seeded German duo Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld saw off US pairing Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond 6-4, 6-4.

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