Sat, Sep 20, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Taiwan’s Chuang grabs spot in Guangzhou final

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AP, GUANGZHOU, China

Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic returns to Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in their Pan Pacific Open singles quarter-final in Tokyo yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Taiwan’s Chuang Chia-jung and Liang Chen of China advanced to the final of the Guangzhou International Women’s Open after a close battle with second seeds Andreja Klepac of Slovenia and Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor of Spain.

Chuang and Liang saved nine of 15 break-point chances and converted five of 11 to triumph 7-6 (7/2), 5-7, 12-10 in 2 hours, 10 minutes, despite serving eight double faults.

The cross-strait duo face France’s Alize Cornet and Magda Linette in today’s final after they defeated top seeds Misaki Doi of Japan and Xu Yi-fan of China 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/5) in yesterday’s other semi-final.

In the singles semi-finals, Cornet moved a step closer to her second title of the season by defeating Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 6-1, 7-6 (7/5).

World No. 22 Cornet, the No. 2 seed at the tournament, fought her way back from 4-1 down in the second set to beat Bacsinszky in just over two hours.

Romania’s Monica Niculescu finally ended wild-card Wang Yafan’s superb run in the tournament with a 6-0, 6-2 victory in the earlier semi-final.

Niculescu, who is yet to drop a set in the event, won six of her eight break-point chances to beat the Chinese player.

PAN PACIFIC OPEN

AFP, TOKYO

The top two seeds Angelique Kerber of Germany and Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki roared into the semi-finals of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo yesterday.

Top seed Kerber outplayed sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova 6-3, 6-0, while Wozniacki, a former world No. 1, overcame Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro 6-3, 6-3 in the quarter-finals.

Kerber, 26, ranked eighth in the world, needed just 61 minutes to stop the 13th-ranked Slovakian.

Wozniacki, seeded second and reeling from her loss to top seed Serena Williams in the US Open final two weeks ago, outlasted the Spaniard in a bout of long rallies.

Kerber next meets third seed Ana Ivanovic in the semi-finals today after the Serbian world No. 10 beat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2 in their quarter-final.

Wozniacki’s semi-final opponent is another Spaniard, Garbine Muguruza, who outlasted Australia’s Casey Dellacqua 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.

“Dominika is a good player and I knew I needed to be 100 percent. Everything went good and I’m happy to be in the semis again,” said Kerber, who finished runner-up to Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic last year in Tokyo.

“We had long rallies and at the end it was all about trying to play chess out there, really,” said the 24-year-old Wozniacki, the world No. 9, who reigned at the top of women’s tennis in 2010 and 2011. “We opened up the court and tried to go for winners when we could. We were just trying to outplay each other.”

The two players broke each other’s serve seven times in the first set.

After 2-2 in the second set, the Dane broke the 26-year-old Suarez Navarro in the fifth and seventh games, before the world No. 19 pulled one back.

In the ninth game, Wozniacki yielded no point as Suarez Navarro smashed wide from the net, double-faulted and hit a forehand long to end the match in nearly 100 minutes.

In the doubles semi-finals, top seeds Cara Black of Zimbabwe and India’s Sania Mirza defeated Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic and Arantxa Parra of Spain 6-3, 6-2.

Black and Mirza face Suarez Navarro and Muguruza in the final after the Spanish pairing defeated Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 6-4, 6-3.

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