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.
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.
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.
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.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
TAIWANESE TO PLAY: Jason Jung faces Frederico Coria in the men’s singles first round today, while in the women’s singles, Hsieh Su-wei is to take on Barbara Haas Novak Djokovic is to renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros in the knowledge that it is himself rather than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest threat to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown. The only man to beat Djokovic this year is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open. The 33-year-old arrives in the French capital with a 31-1 record this year after his New York brain-fade was followed by a record 36th Masters title in Rome. Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to
Taiwan’s Jason Jung was knocked out of the first round of the French Open in straight sets on Sunday, while Andy Murray said it was going to be “difficult” for the former world No. 1 to reach his level of old after he also fell to a lopsided defeat by fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. Jung fell to a 7-5, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/3) defeat to Argentina’s Federico Coria in 3 hours, 19 minutes at Roland Garros, despite hitting 55 winners. Jung served for both the first and second sets, then failed to convert two set points at 5-4 in
Michael Schumacher’s son Mick said that the prospect of Lewis Hamilton equaling the Ferrari great’s all-time record of 91 wins has given him something to aim for when he gets to Formula One. Hamilton, who replaced Michael Schumacher at Mercedes in 2013, can take his 91st victory in today’s Russian Grand Prix in Sochi — a race he has won four times previously. “One sentence my dad always used to say was: ‘Records are there to be broken.’ It’s everybody’s aim in this sport to do that,” Formula Two championship leader Mick Schumacher said on Friday. “I think Lewis had a very, very