The Chan sisters survived another second-set wobble to advance to the semi-finals of the doubles at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo yesterday, while fellow Taiwanese Chuang Chia-jung avenged her doubles defeat to Japanese duo Misaki Doi and Nara Kurumi in the semi-finals of the Japan Open last week.
Second seeds Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan saved one of two break points and converted three of four to claim the first set of their semi-final 6-1, but then conceded three breaks and converted just one of four as Olga Savchuk and Xu Yifan rallied to win the second set 6-2.
The Chan sisters then fought back to claim the super tiebreak 10-8 against their Ukrainian-Chinese opponents in 1 hour, 11 minutes, the second straight match in which they were taken to the brink after comprehensively winning the first set.
The second seeds won 53 of the 103 points contested on Court 1 at the Ariake Coliseum to set up a semi-final against Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato, who defeated fellow Japanese pairing Misa Eguchi and Junri Namigata in the first quarter-final played on Center Court.
Chuang and Kateryna Bondarenko completed a 6-3, 6-4 victory in 1 hour, 17 minutes in the final match on Center Court.
The Taiwanese-Ukrainian pairing saved four of five break points and converted three of five, winning 59 of the 103 points contested to set up a semi-final against third-seeded Spanish duo Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro, who advanced with a walkover.
In the singles, Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia reached the quarter-finals by beating sixth-seeded Suarez Navarro of Spain 6-4, 6-4.
Cibulkova improved her record to 3-0 against Suarez Navarro, who had not won a match in seven tournaments before beating Bondarenko in the first round.
The Slovakian faces second seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, who defeated Camila Giorgi of Italy 7-5, 6-2.
Seventh-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska also reached the final eight by beating Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-4, 6-1 and will play Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, who eliminated the last remaining Japanese player in the singles by defeating Nara 6-2, 6-4.
The 11th-ranked Pliskova served 10 aces and rallied from 4-1 down in the second set to clinch the match.
American Sloane Stephens cruised past Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm to advance to the quarter-finals of the WTA Korea Open yesterday.
Third-seeded Stephens defeated 44-year-old Date-Krumm, champion in Seoul in 2009, 6-3, 6-4 in the second round of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus, ranked 136th in the world, earned a surprise win over Magdalena Rybarikova, currently ranked 73rd, defeating the Slovak 6-3, 6-3.
Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic defeated top seed Simona Halep in straight sets in quarter-final play yesterday in the WTA Guangzhou International Women’s Open. Unseeded Allertova pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament so far, beating the Romanian 6-4, 6-3.
In another upset, unseeded Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium defeated Romania’s Monica Niculescu, the sixth seed, 6-2, 6-2.
Sara Errani overwhelmed eighth seed Zheng Saisai, China’s top player, 6-1, 6-0, leaving no more Chinese singles players in the event.
Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying was knocked out of the Malaysia Open yesterday, losing her women’s singles semi-final against Chen Yufei of China 19-21, 21-13, 21-15. Despite two previous victories for second-seeded Tai against Chen this season — including her win in the final of the Thailand Open — fourth-seeded Chen dispatched the world No. 2 in 1 hour, 8 minutes at Kuala Lumpur’s Axiata Arena, securing a spot in the Super 750 tournament’s final. Tai won the opening game of the last-four matchup, scoring two consecutive points after the score was tied 19-19. However, she had a horrific points drought after the
Taipei Municipal Fulin Elementary School’s baseball team yesterday beat South Korea in the regional final to win the right to represent the Asia-Pacific region in this year’s Little League Baseball World Series. The Taiwan team’s 1-0 victory over hosts South Korea was largely down to the excellent performance of starting pitcher Liao Kuan-shu, who pitched six scoreless innings, in which he only gave up two hits at Hwaseong Dream Park in South Korea. After Taiwan earned a single in the bottom of the second inning, Liao in the third hit a two-out double, helping to eke out a 1-0 victory, as they
Tai Tzu-ying yesterday was Taiwan’s final hope at the Petronas Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur, advancing to quarter-finals of the women’s singles with a decisive win over Kristin Kuuba of Estonia. The world No. 2 and second-seeded Tai crushed world No. 51 Kuuba 21-11, 21-9 in their second-round match, which lasted about 30 minutes, at the Super 750 tournament at the Axiata Arena. In the opener, Tai shot ahead 11-8 at the mid-game interval, with Kuuba starved after the break, scoring one point as the Taiwanese hit five consecutive winners to bound to 16-9. Kuuba rallied to gain two more points, but Tai
Brandon Brown wanted a way to change the narrative behind the “Let’s go, Brandon” message after his first career NASCAR victory inadvertently fostered a chant that has been used to insult US President Joe Biden. Brown found that new message thanks to the family of an eight-year-old boy with autism. Brandon Brundidge of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, was on a spring-break trip to Houston in March when he saw signs with the “Let’s go, Brandon” phrase. He believed they were meant to encourage him, and consequently started trying activities he never attempted before, such as learning to swim and removing the training wheels