Taiwanese sisters Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan battled into the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, England, yesterday, setting up a possible showdown with Taiwanese world doubles No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei.
The Chan sisters saved 11 of 12 break-point chances they faced and converted two of the four they created to defeat No. 3 seeds Cara Black of Zimbabwe and Sania Mirza of India 6-1, 3-6, 10-7 in a super tiebreak in 1 hour, 13 minutes.
The victory means the Taiwanese duo next face either top-seeded Italian pairing Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci or Taiwan’s Hsieh and Timea Babos of Hungary, who were due to play their quarter-final later yesterday on England’s south coast.
In the men’s singles on Wednesday, top seed Richard Gasquet turned 28 with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 defeat of Bernard Tomic to make a winning start. Gasquet, competing in his third tournament since April after injury, moved into the quarter-finals after an opening bye as he bids for a third career trophy on grass.
Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and second seed Petra Kvitova also advanced in the women’s singles at Devonshire Park.
Frenchman Gasquet, the winner in 2005 and 2006, fired eight aces and saved nine of 10 break points to win through in 1 hour, 45 minutes.
Tomic sent down 16 aces and will be going into Wimbledon with confidence after his start to the season had been hampered by double hip surgery.
The Australian, a Wimbledon quarter-finalist in 2011, is looking forward to stepping onto the grass at the All England club for a sixth time after what he considers a decent preparation.
“I’ve had two good weeks, I’m happy with the way it’s been going leading up into this. Wimbledon is my favorite tournament, so if I can get a good draw, first, second round will be very important for me,” he said.
Tomic knows what is missing in his game after going down to Gasquet, who won his first Eastbourne match after losing in 2012.
“I’m struggling to convert the break points lately,” said the 21-year-old, ranked 82nd. “Today, I had a lot of break points, but I couldn’t finish it on those occasions. I think we played a good match, and this is what you need leading into Wimbledon.”
Queen’s finalist Feliciano Lopez struggled in the first set against German qualifier Tobias Kamke and needed a dozen break points in the second set before breaking back for 5-all in a 7-6 (12/10), 7-5 opening match lasting two hours.
Two seeds fell in their opening matches as Uzbek Denis Istomin put out No. 4 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-2, 7-5 and Julien Benneteau beat fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-4.
Finn Jarkko Nieminen fell to Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-2, 7-6 (7/4), despite 11 aces.
In the women’s singles, eighth seed Wozniacki beat American Sloane Stephens for the sixth straight time, winning 6-3, 6-3. The 2009 champion from Denmark advanced in 66 minutes to next face Camila Giorgi.
The Italian continued her run of form as she dismissed Britain’s Johanna Konta 1-6, 7-5, 7-5 a day after she required nearly three hours to upset former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka.
Czech Kvitova won a 14th consecutive match against a left-hander as she put out Varvara Lepchenko 6-1, 6-4. It was her sixth win without a loss against the American.
German fifth seed Angelique Kerber reached the last eight over Alize Cornet of France 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (7-3). Britain’s Heather Watson will next line up against Kvitova after earning a top 20 scalp with her defeat of Italian sixth seed Flavia Pennetta 6-7 (6/8), 6-4, 6-2.