Sat, Aug 08, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Top seeds crash out at Bank of the West Classic

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AP, STANFORD, California

Varvara Lepchenko of the US celebrates beating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in their Bank of the West Classic singles match in Stanford, California, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Top-seeded Taiwanese sisters Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan crashed out of the quarter-finals of the doubles at the Bank of the West Classic on Thursday, while top seed Caroline Wozniacki was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by Varvara Lepchenko of the US in the second round of the singles.

The Chan sisters looked to be cruising into the semi-finals when they claimed the first set 6-0 against Kateryna Bondarenko and Tatjana Maria, but they succumbed to an incredible comeback as the Ukrainian-German duo pulled off a 0-6, 6-2, 10-7 victory in 1 hour, 5 minutes on Stadium Court at Stanford University.

The Taiwanese duo did not face a single break point in the first set and converted three of six, but the tide was turned in the second, with Bondarenko and Maria saving four of five and converting three of five.

The victors face Chinese duo Xu Yifan and Zheng Saisai in the semi-finals after they also rallied from a set down to defeat German duo Mona Barthel and Sabine Lisicki 3-6, 6-4, 10-5.

Third seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Alicja Rosolska defeated Asia Muhammad of the US and Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia in the day’s other quarter-final.

The Canadian-Polish duo next face either Taiwan’s Chan Chin-wei and Darija Jurak of Croatia or Spanish pairing Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santonja, who were due to play the remaining quarter-final late yesterday.

In the singles, world No. 5 Wozniacki, the Danish player who reached the round-of-16 at Wimbledon, became the fourth seed to drop out and the second top seed after world No. 1 Serena Williams pulled out with an elbow injury on the eve of the draw.

“It was kind of surprising,” Lepchenko said. “The first match helped coming into this match. I felt the ball wasn’t coming at me as fast. My first match, it really seemed to be coming fast.”

“Physically I wasn’t 100 percent,” Wozniacki said. “I still thought I had enough to play and beat her. The ball was coming at me so fast I couldn’t get into a rhythm. It wasn’t pretty out there.”

World No. 60 Lepchenko reached the quarter-finals after failing to get out of the first round in her previous seven events. She beat a top-20 opponent for the first time this year and knocked off a top-five opponent for the third time in her career.

“I took some time to get back into shape,” Lepchenko said. “Right now I feel like I am in better condition than I was earlier in the year.”

The players endured four brief rain delays in the second set.

“I felt the sky didn’t want me to win,” Lepchenko said. “Every time I would get some momentum, start going for winners, it would start raining. It was like a roller coaster. It’s OK to rain, but not every other game.”

Wozniacki, who owns the longest streak, at six years, of finishing the season among the top 10, said the rain was bothersome, but not a factor.

“You warm up and then get cold,” she said. “You’d rather play straight through, but she just played well and beat me.”

Lepchenko was due to face Barthel in the quarter-finals at the Taube Family Tennis Center yesterday.

Barthel advanced on Wednesday with a victory over sixth seed Andrea Petkovic.

Earlier, second seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland beat Japanese qualifier Misaki Doi 1-6, 6-2, 6-0 to set up a match against fifth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany.

Kerber, a finalist at Stanford University last year, beat Ana Konjuh of Croatia 6-3, 6-4.

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