Tue, Oct 11, 2016 - Page 16 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Staff writer, with agencies

TENNIS

Chang Kai-chen advances

Taiwanese qualifier Chang Kai-chen yesterday advanced to the second round of the Tianjin Open with a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 victory over Vania King in just 60 minutes. World No. 220 Chang, who has been as high as No. 82 in the rankings, saved five of six break points and converted five of 10, winning 65 of the 105 points contested against the American world No. 80. Joining Chang in the second round where second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, Danka Kovinic of Montenegro, Croatia’s Donna Vekic and Czech qualifier Lucie Hradecka.

TENNIS

Lee Ya-hsuan crashes out

Taiwanese wild card Lee Ya-hsuan yesterday crashed out of the Hong Kong Tennis Open in the first round, falling to a 6-2, 6-1 defeat to Louisa Chirico in just 58 minutes. The American world No. 60 saved six of seven break points and converted five of six, winning 61 of the 99 points contested to oust the Taiwanese world No. 281. Joining Chirico in the second round were second seed Venus Williams of the US, Australian eighth seed Daria Gavrilova and France’s Alize Cornet.

TENNIS

Wild card Wu upsets Cuevas

Chinese wild card Wu Di on Sunday upset 16th-seeded Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2) in front of his hometown fans in the opening round of the Shanghai Rolex Masters. Wu, who lives in Shanghai, had failed to get past the opening round in five previous appearances in the main draw of the tournament. The 184th-ranked Chinese player broke Cuevas seven times in the match, including five in the third set. The players traded 10 breaks of serve in the deciding set. It was just the second win on the ATP Tour for Wu, who won his first match last month against Russia’s Konstantin Kravchuk in the opening round of the Chengdu Open. In other matches, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson defeated Chinese wild card Li Zhe 6-1, 6-3; Italy’s Fabio Fognini beat Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-5, 6-3; and Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic ousted Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-2, 6-4.

BASKETBALL

Harden leads Rockets to win

Pre-season statistics often can be misleading: that might not be the case with James Harden right now. After three pre-season games, Harden has three points-assists double-doubles — the most recent one in Shanghai on Sunday, when he had 26 points and 15 assists to help the Houston Rockets beat the New Orleans Pelicans 123-117 in an NBA Global Games match. The Rockets are 3-0 in exhibitions so far this fall, scoring 131, 130 and now 123 points in those games. Harden is averaging 23.3 points and 12 assists in those three games. Fans in China, where the Rockets are enormously popular anyway — thanks in large part to Yao Ming — have taken to Harden as well, with many on Sunday sporting fake beards to mimic his look. “Great atmosphere,” Harden said. They will be seeing even more NBA in China this season. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Sunday announced an expansion of the NBA’s partnership with BesTV, one that will see up to 1,300 games per season broadcast in China. “It’s a multimedia partnership that brings the very best in television and technology to the NBA in China,” Silver said.

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