Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis on Friday failed in their attempt to complete a “Sunshine double” in California and Florida as third seeds Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova rallied from a set down to oust the Taiwanese-Swiss fifth seeds in the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Miami Open.
The Indian-Czech duo avenged their quarter-final defeat in Indian Wells to advance to the final with a 6-7 (6/8), 6-1, 10-4 victory in 1 hour, 28 minutes and tie their career record at 1-1.
Mirza and Strycova saved five of seven break points and converted four of six, winning 75 of the 139 points contested to advance to to today’s final against Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Xu Yifan of China, who edged fourth seeds Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic and Peng Shuai of China 7-5, 5-7, 10-7 in the earlier semi-final.
In the men’s singles, Roger Federer needed more than three hours to outlast Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (11/9), 6-7 (11/9), 7-6 (7/5) in a pulsating semi-final to set up another mouthwatering final clash with Rafael Nadal.
The Swiss, who has won two of his past three tournaments, including the Australian Open, had to dig deep to get through a second straight test after fending off a match point in his quarter-final victory over Tomas Berdych.
The 35-year-old’s win set up a rematch of January’s Melbourne Park title-decider against Spaniard Nadal, who earlier rolled over unseeded Italian Fabio Fognini 6-1, 7-5.
Kyrgios, who has twice beaten Novak Djokovic over the last month, left his racket a twisted heap on the court after coming up short in a battle against the former world No. 1 and a partisan crowd.
In their only previous match in Madrid in 2015, the Australian came out on top in a similar three-set thriller that went to three tiebreaks with the last decided 14-12.
“It’s great winning this way, especially of course I remember the loss against him few years ago,” Federer told reporters. “I know I can’t always show my fighting skills because everything else sort of takes over.”
The temperamental Kyrgios came apart in the late stages of the last tiebreak after a fan yelled out when he was leading 5-4 and he miscued a forehand.
The 21-year-old turned to the fan and unleashed a volley of obscenities before serving up a double fault that gave Federer the window he needed to clinch the battle.
“Obviously, I’m an emotional guy. I had some ups and up and downs, bit of a roller coaster,” Kyrgios said. “Ultimately, I think I put in a good performance. I thought the crowd would’ve enjoyed watching it. People at home would’ve enjoyed watching it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they found something bad to say about me.”
Nadal, who lost all four of his previous Miami Open finals, will be out to snap a run of three straight defeats against Federer, including in the Melbourne final and in Indian Wells.
“Winning here would be something great and an important title I haven’t won,” Nadal told reporters. “I served well [on Friday]. That gives you calm when you have opportunities on the return.”
The fifth-seeded Spaniard did not face a break point against Fognini and put his opponent’s serve under pressure throughout the 90-minute match.
The 30-year-old raced through the first set in 26 minutes, losing only four points on serve, while Fognini made 14 unforced errors.
“I was missing a lot of balls,” Fognini said. “I give him a present of the first set. I was playing really bad.”
The Italian came to life in the second set, especially in a stretch where he fended off five break points during his first two service games.
However, at 5-5, just when it looked as if Fognini might force a decisive third set, he double faulted and Nadal grabbed the break before sealing the match four points later.
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
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017