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
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,
Wimbledon, widely regarded as the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament, was on Friday stripped of ranking points by the sport’s main tours in a move that threatens to reduce the Grand Slam to the status of a high-profile exhibition event. The decision by the ATP and WTA was in response to Wimbledon banning Russian and Belarusian players following the invasion of Ukraine. “It is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option but to remove ATP Ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022,” an ATP statement said. “Our rules and agreements exist in order to protect the rights of players as a
Defending champions Taichung Blue Whale thrashed Taoyuan Mars 6-0 in Taiwanese women’s soccer over the weekend, while Hualien City rolled on with their fourth win to sit atop the league table. While Thai fullback Pitsamai Sornsai partnered with compatriot goalkeeper Nattaruja Muthtanawech on defense, Japanese midfielder Maho Tanaka opened the scoring for Blue Whale in Saturday’s match, kicking a screamer on a volley from outside the penalty box — her first goal of the season. The match remained 1-0 heading into the break, although Taoyuan Mars striker Ho Chia-huan, a student at Hsing Wu High School in New Taipei City, had good
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