Tue, Jan 05, 2016 - Page 20 News List

Chan sisters lose opener, Hsieh wins on birthday

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter

The Chan sisters began a season in which they will be eyeing a women’s doubles medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics with an unexpected loss at the Brisbane International yesterday, while fellow Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei celebrated her birthday with a victory at the Shenzhen Open.

Second seeds Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan lost their opening set of the year and never managed to recover, falling to a 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 10-5 defeat to unseeded pairing Raquel Atawo of the US and Alize Cornet of France in the first round in Brisbane.

The Taiwanese sisters, ranked 12th and seventh in the world respectively, saved four of six break points and converted five of seven, winning 52 percent of the points contested, but it was not enough as they fell to an opening-day defeat in 1 hour, 41 minutes at the Queensland Tennis Centre.

It was a disappointing start to the season for the Chan sisters, who teamed up last year with the intention of qualifying to represent Taiwan at this summer’s Olympic Games and went on to claim the women’s doubles titles in Pattaya, Cincinnatti and Tokyo.

Hsieh opened her campaign by celebrating her 30th birthday with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over China’s Duan Ying-ying at the Shenzhen Open.

The Taiwanese world No. 93 saved six of seven break points and converted three of nine, winning 78 of the 144 points contested to complete the victory in 1 hour, 25 minutes.

It improved Hsieh’s record against Duan to 4-0 and set up a second-round clash with Alison Riske of the US, who ousted German eighth seed Annika Beck 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-2 in 2 hours, 10 minutes.

Also advancing to the second round of the singles were third seed Irina-Camelia Begu, fellow Romanian fourth seed Monica Niculescu, seventh seed Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany, Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic and Timea Babos of Hungary.

It was also a disappointing day for Taiwan’s women’s doubles players in Shenzhen, with second seeds Chuang Chia-jung and Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia following Chan Chin-wei and Kotomi Takahata of Japan out of the exit.

Chuang and Kalashnikova were ousted 7-5, 6-3 by Vania King of the US and Niculescu in 1 hour, 30 minutes, while Chan Chin-wei and Takahata were beaten 7-6 (7/5), 6-0 by US duo Nicole Gibbs and Riske.

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