Chuang Chia-jung advanced to the semi-finals of the doubles at the Internationaux de Strasbourg on Wednesday, while fellow Taiwanese Chan Chin-wei was beaten in the quarter-finals of the doubles at the Nuernberg Versicherungscup.
Second seeds Chuang and Darija Jurak rallied from a set down to edge a tight quarter-final 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4), 10-8 against Nicole Melichar of the US and Alicja Rosolska of Poland in two minutes short of two hours on the red clay in France.
The Taiwanese-Croatian duo saved six of 10 break points and converted four of eight, winning 89 of the 172 points contested to advance to a semi-final today against third seeds Maria Irigoyen of Argentina and Liang Chen of China.
In the second round of the singles, fourth seed Kristina Mladenovic rallied from a set down and survived a third-set fightback by Alison Riske of the US to advance 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in a minute over three hours.
Riske fought back from 5-1 in the third set, saving four match points to draw level at 5-5 before forcing the tiebreak, but the Frenchwoman prevailed to the delight of the home crowd.
“Physically, it was tough out there today. Long, tight rallies. A lot of mistakes from me,” Mladenovic told the WTA Web site. “The crowd were the difference. There was suspense — at 5-1 I think we thought it was done, but she fought back to get the tiebreak.”
“She saved a lot of match points, but I’m just happy I could get the win today. I took the tiebreak point by point, calmed things down. That was the key,” she said.
Also advancing to the quarter-finals was French wild-card Pauline Parmentier, who ousted second seed Sloane Stephens of the US 6-3, 1-6, 6-4; seventh seed Elena Vesnina of Russia, who defeated Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine 6-4, 7-5; Croatian qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who shocked eighth seed Timea Babos of Hungary 6-1, 6-4; and French lucky loser Virginie Razzano, after Monica Puig of Puerto Rico retired in the third set.
In Nuremberg, Germany, Chan and Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands fell to a 6-0, 6-4 defeat to German duo Annika Beck and Anna-Lena Friedsam in just 52 minutes.
In the second round of the singles, Dutch qualifier Kiki Bertens dealt a blow to top seed Roberta Vinci’s French Open preparations with a 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) victory in 1 hour, 19 minutes.
“I’m really happy with the win today, of course. I’m always happy to have a few matches before Paris and I think my level was OK today,” Bertens told the WTA Web site. “I didn’t start [the second set] so good, I was 4-1 down, but then I started to be a little more patient — trying to hit the ball in the court — and from there be more aggressive, and that worked pretty well today.”
In the quarter-finals, Bertens was due to face Irina Falconi of the US, who saw off Japanese sixth seed Misaki Doi 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.
Also advancing were Mariana Duque-Marino of Colombia, who stunned second seed Laura Siegemund of Germany 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-1; Varvara Lepchenko of the US, who ousted fifth seed Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-2, 7-6 (7/5); and Julia Goerges of Germany, who downed eighth seed Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-2.
Taiwanese badminton star Tai Tzu-ying (戴資穎) yesterday beat Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in their women’s singles semi-final match to advance to today’s final at the Thailand Open. The top-seeded Tai overcame a 10-21 first-game loss to seventh seed and former world champion Ratchanok to dominate the final two games 21-13, 21-19 in 58 minutes of play at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. World No. 2 Tai is today to face world No. 4 Chen Yufei of China. Chen yesterday bested Pusarla Venkata Sindhu 21-17, 21-16 to secure her spot in the final of the Super 500 tournament. On Friday, Tai overpowered China’s He Bingjiao 21-10,
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Faced with a machete, a fighter leaps and locks his legs around another man’s neck, bringing him crashing down to a cacophony of cheers. This is vovinam, Vietnam’s acrobatic martial art with roots dating back to the country’s struggle for independence, and it is showing at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games for the first time since 2013. Proponents are trained to use not only their hands and legs to grapple a rival to the ground, but also fend off assailants armed with blades. Short for “Vo Viet Nam” (literally “Vietnamese martial arts”) it was inspired by nationalists who sought an end to the