Sat, Jan 07, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Hsieh Su-wei ousted in semis

‘BIT OF LUCK’:Alize Cornet faces Karolina Pliskova in the singles final in Brisbane after her opponent, Garbine Muguruza, withdrew from their semi-final ‘exhausted’

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AFP, BRISBANE, Australia

Germany’s Laura Siegemund, front, returns to Sania Mirza of India and Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US as Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei looks on in their Brisbane International women’s doubles semi-final in Australia yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei was ousted by a former partner in the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Brisbane International yesterday, while Alize Cornet reached her biggest final in more than two years in the singles.

Hsieh and Laura Siegemund fell to a 6-4, 6-3 defeat to top seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US and India’s Sania Mirza, a former partner of the Kaohsiung-born former doubles world No. 1.

The Taiwanese-German duo saved six of 11 break points, but converted just three of nine as they exited the tournament in 70 minutes.

Mattek-Sands and Mirza take on Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in today’s final after the second seeds defeated third seeds Abigail Spears of the US and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia 6-1, 6-3 in 62 minutes in yesterday’s other semi-final.

In the singles, Cornet advanced after an “exhausted” Garbine Muguruza withdrew from their semi-final.

The unseeded Frenchwoman was leading her Spanish opponent 4-1 in the first set when Muguruza decided she could not continue.

Although the official reason was a right-thigh injury, the fourth-seeded Spaniard, who had spent more than seven hours on court in her first three rounds, conceded later that she was physically spent.

“I just felt, like, a little bit exhausted on the court and I have been dealing, you know, with tiredness and issues with all these hard matches I have been playing, and today I was far from 100 percent,” Muguruza said.

Cornet plays third seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in today’s final, the first time the 26-year-old from Nice has reached the decider of a premier tournament since she lost to Venus Williams in Dubai in 2014 after having beaten Serena in the semi-finals.

A delighted Cornet said Muguruza’s withdrawal had been the perfect result.

“When she decided to stop I was a little bit surprised, but you know a little bit of luck never killed anybody,” Cornet said. “I’m just going to take it. I really enjoy the fact that I’m in the final. It’s a big day for me. I just learned that I’m going to be seeded at the Australian Open because of this match. So it’s two bits of good news at the same time.”

Cornet went into the tournament ranked 41st in the world, but will now climb to 31.

She could go as high as 26 if she wins today’s final.

Pliskova, who was runner-up at last year’s US Open, reached the final in impressive style when she beat Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-2, 6-4 in the second semi-final.

The tall Czech used her booming serve and powerful ground strokes to great effect in the 64-minute victory.

“I’m really satisfied with the way I played tonight,” Pliskova said. “I was serving well and maybe she was a little bit tired from her previous match [against world No. 1 Angelique Kerber].”

In the men’s quarter-finals there were victories for top seed Milos Raonic, second seed Stan Wawrinka, third seed Kei Nishikori and seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov, who ousted fourth seed Dominic Thiem.

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