Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis of Switzerland kept their bid for a second straight title on track at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia yesterday, while sixth seed Simona Halep advanced to the final of the singles.
Second seeds Chan and Hingis battled to a 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) semi-final victory over third seeds Sania Mirza of India and Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in 1 hour, 44 minutes at the Foro Italico in Rome.
The Taiwanese-Swiss duo saved three of five break points and converted three of eight to advance to a final against top-seeded Russian Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina or fourth seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic, who were playing later yesterday.
In the singles, Halep defeated 15th seed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 7-5, 6-1 in 1 hour, 17 minutes.
The Romanian saved six of eight break points and converted six of 15 to set up her send consecutive final against either third seed Garbine Muguruza of Spain or eighth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, who were due to play their semi-final later yesterday.
In the rain-affected men’s singles quarter-finals on Friday, eighth seed Dominic Thiem of Austria ended fourth seed Rafael Nadal’s 17-game winning streak on clay with a 6-4, 6-3 victory in 1 hour, 51 minutes.
“Tomorrow I’ll be in Mallorca fishing or playing golf, or another thing. I’m going to rest a little bit, I think I deserve it,” 14-time Grand Slam champion Nadal told the International Business Times.
“Then from Monday and Tuesday I will start to prepare for Roland Garros. It’s an important event for me. If you do things well, you have more chances in Roland Garros. I hope to play my best tennis in Roland Garros,” he said.
Nadal predicted a bright future for the 23-year-old Thiem.
“He played very aggressive, hitting the ball very strong,” he said. “The court here is probably the smaller on all the center courts on clay, so that makes the players who play with bigger serve and hitting the ball strong, you know, is a little bit more easier for them to see the option to hit winners.”
Novak Djokovic cruised into the semi-finals yesterday after a rain-interrupted 6-1, 6-4 win over Juan del Potro.
The second seed was to play Thiem later yesterday.
Heavy rain in the Italian capital, which began on Friday, mean organizers are playing catch-up in a bid to bring the event to a close by today.
Additional reporting by AFP
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