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.
SWEEP THE LEG: Poirier, determined to best McGregor, after losing to him in 2014, used low calf kicks to throw ‘Notorious’ off his stand-up game, before dropping him American underdog Dustin Poirier yesterday shook up the world of mixed martial arts, beating up the legs of Irish superstar Conor McGregor before knocking him out at UFC 257 in Abu Dhabi. “I’m happy, but I’m not surprised. I put in the work,” Poirier said, after the referee stepped in after 2 minutes, 32 seconds of the second round to save McGregor from further damage, after he was dropped by a fierce combination of punches. The 32-year-old Poirier was ranked second in the flyweight division going into the fight, but still rated a heavy underdog by bookmakers to beat his fourth-ranked opponent,
World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying yesterday eased past her Thai opponent to advance to the second round of the Toyota Thailand Open. The Taiwanese star toppled world No. 46 Supanida Katethong 21-16, 21-11 in 29 minutes at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. “I think I played OK today. I am feeling a little better than last week,” Tai said. Tomorrow, Tai faces Indonesia’s Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. The two have faced each other six times, with Tai beating the world No. 21 in all six matches. Tai on Sunday reached the final of the Yonex Thailand Open before losing decisively against Carolina Marin of Spain.
LOOKING TO REPEAT: World No. 7 Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin advanced to the round-of-16 at the Toyota Thailand Open, after winning the Yonex Thailand Open on Sunday Taiwan’s world No. 7 duo yesterday eased past the US’ world No. 37 pairing at the Toyota Thailand Open to reach the round-of-16 in Bangkok. Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin beat Phillip Chew and Ryan Chew 21-14, 21-11 in just 24 minutes. Lee and Wang, who won the men’s doubles title at the Yonex Thailand Open on Sunday, next face the world No. 34 pairing, Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura. In men’s singles, Taiwan’s world No. 2 Chou Tien-chen again beat Thailand’s world No. 45 Suppanyu Avihingsanon, after edging past the Thai player in the opening round of the Yonex
Three new COVID-19 cases yesterday hit the Australian Open’s troubled buildup as a backlash grew against international tennis players flown in during a raging pandemic. Two of the new cases were players, state health officials said, taking the total infections to seven since more than 1,000 people arrived in largely COVID-19-free Australia on charter flights last week. The Victoria Department of Health and Human Services said that the two players and a third person associated with the tournament — a woman in her 20s, and two men in their 30s — had returned positive results. The year’s first Grand Slam, delayed three weeks,