It was a tale of the top seeds at the rain-hit Qatar Ladies Open on Thursday, as Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis advanced to the semi-finals in the doubles, while Angelique Kerber crashed out to a Russian teenager in the second round of the singles in Doha.
Chan and Hingis faced a tougher test than their first-round match in their quarter-final against Andreja Klepac of Slovenia and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain, but they came through with flying colors, posting a 6-3, 6-3 victory in 67 minutes.
The Taiwanese-Swiss duo saved six of eight break points and converted five of 13, winning 59 of the 105 points contested to advance to a semi-final against either third seeds Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic and Peng Shuai of China or Olga Savchuk of Ukraine and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, who were scheduled to play their rain-delayed quarter-final yesterday.
That should give the top seeds an advantage in the semi-finals, with their opponents having to play two matches yesterday in their bid to make today’s final.
In the singles, world No. 2 Kerber finally got to play her first match at the rain-affected tournament, then promptly crashed out.
On another wet day in the desert, Kerber lost 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 to Daria Kasatkina.
The German had received a first-round bye.
“Of course, it’s always tough to play the first matches after a longer break, but I was not feeling the best today. I’m trying to find my rhythm, but she plays good,” the former world No. 1 said. “I think it was, for sure, not my day. I was not feeling the best today.”
She told German-speaking reporters that she had been suffering from a cold, but did not want to make “a drama out of this.”
It was the second time this year that Kerber has lost to the 19-year-old Russian, after a straight-sets defeat at the Apia Sydney International last month.
The defeat capped a miserable start to the year for the German, who lost in the fourth round in Melbourne as she sought to defend her Australian Open title.
To make things worse, eventual winner Serena Williams then reclaimed Kerber’s world No. 1 ranking.
The defeat also denied Doha a repeat of last year’s Olympics final, as Kasatkina instead won through to play gold medalist Monica Puig in the quarter-finals. That match also began on Thursday.
It was tied at 1-1 — the Russian took the first set 6-4, while Puig hit back to take the second 7-5 — with the Puerto Rican 2-1 up in the decider before the inevitable rain struck again and play was halted for the day.
Also suspended because of the weather was Caroline Wozniacki’s quarter-final against qualifier Lauren Davis of the US. The pair managed only one game before being stopped for the day.
Earlier, the Dane had beaten close friend Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3.
“We always have great matches,” Wozniacki said. “It was a tough match, but I was pleased.”
Only one player, Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, has so far won through to the semi-finals.
She beat Australia’s Samantha Stosur 7-5, 6-4 and was due to play the winner of the match between the Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova and China’s Zhang Shuai.
Second seed Pliskova had earlier beaten France’s Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-4.
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan expressed ‘sincere regret’ for publishing the image on its in-house magazine and Web site A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright. The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine. The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide. Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly