Taiwanese sisters Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan cruised into the third round of the women’s doubles at the French Open yesterday, ousting British duo Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith 6-3, 6-2 on Court 3 at Roland Garros.
The third seeds, the second-most successful sister pairing in WTA history behind only Serena and Venus Willams, saved one of the two break points they faced and converted four of six, winning 65 of the 108 points contested to advance to a third-round clash with Madison Brengle of the US and Tatjana Maria of Germany.
Late on Friday on Court 6, seventh seeds Chan Yung-jan and Max Mirnyi battled into the second round of the mixed doubles with a tight 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) victory over Romanian duo Simona Halep and Horia Tecau.
Photo: Courtesy of Chan Hao-ching’s Facebook page
The Taiwanese-Belarussian pairing saved three of seven break points and converted five of six, winning 72 of the 140 points contested to advance to a second-round clash on Court 17 against Serbian duo Jelena Jankovic and Nenad Zimonjic.
That match was due to take place following the second-round mixed doubles match featuring fellow Taiwanese Chuang Chia-jung and Henri Kontinen of Finland against eighth-seeded US duo Coco Vandeweghe and Bob Bryan.
In the singles yesterday, Ana Ivanovic’s hopes of adding to her 2008 French Open success yesterday ended rather tamely as she was beaten by Ukrainian 18th seed Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-4 in the third round.
A year ago, it seemed as if Ivanovic might be emerging from a prolonged slump after making it to the Paris semi-finals for the first time since her title run.
However, the Serbian 14th seed’s form has nosedived over the past 12 months and she has since failed to progress past the third round of the subsequent four major tournaments.
The 28-year-old recovered from 4-1 down in the second set to level at 4-4, but the brief fightback only delayed the inevitable.
A forehand slapped into the net ended her ordeal and she pulled her white sun visor over her eyes as she made a quick exit from the court.
Svitolina, a quarter-finalist 12 months ago, will next play either defending champion Serena Williams or French hopeful Kristina Mladenovic.
Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal rocked the competition on Friday when he pulled out with a left wrist injury, as Andy Murray and defending champion Stan Wawrinka moved closer to a semi-final showdown.
Nadal, 29, said he had been playing with an anesthetic injection in the wrist in the first two rounds and that MRI scans had shown that the injury to the tendon was getting worse.
“It’s not broken, but if I continue to play it will be 100 percent broken in a few days,” said an emotional Nadal, the fourth-seeded winner of 14 majors. “To win the tournament I need five more matches, and the doctor says that’s 100 percent impossible.”
Nadal, plagued by knee and wrist injuries throughout his career, added: “This is a very bad position, but that’s life. It’s obvious that if it’s not Roland Garros I would not take risks on playing the first two days, but it is the most important event of the year for me so we tried our best.”
Despite his latest setback, the charismatic Spaniard said he would keep playing, although his participation at Wimbledon next month is now in serious doubt.
“This is a tough moment, but it’s not the end,” said Nadal, who won the first of his nine French Opens as a 19-year-old in 2005.
Nadal’s withdrawal gives compatriot Marcel Granollers a walkover into the last 16.
DJOKOVIC ON POINT
It is also a huge boost to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s hopes of lifting a first French Open crown.
Nadal and Djokovic were seeded to meet in the semi-finals on Friday.
Second-seeded Murray cut down Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic to reach the last 16.
Murray, a three-time semi-finalist, had needed two five-set matches and three days of play to get to the last 32.
However, on Friday the 29-year-old needed just less than two hours to beat Karlovic 6-1, 6-4, 7-6.
It was his seventh win in seven matches against the 37-year-old as Murray goes on to face John Isner of the US.
“At the end it was very close. I got off to a quick start and against someone like Ivo that’s very important,” Murray said.
WAWRINKA ENJOYS WIN
Third-seeded Wawrinka, scheduled to face Murray in the semi-finals, enjoyed a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5 win over France’s Jeremy Chardy.
The Swiss next goes up against the winner of the tie between Gilles Simon of France and Victor Troicki of Serbia.
Kei Nishikori of Japan also reached the last 16 with a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4 win over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.
The fifth seed, a quarter-finalist last year, will play Richard Gasquet after the Frenchman defeated Australian Nick Kyrgios 6-2, 7-6 (9/7), 6-2.
Canada’s eighth seed Milos Raonic overcame a left hip injury to defeat Slovakian lucky loser Andrej Martin 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, 6-3.
Additional reporting by AP
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