Sat, Jun 03, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan’s Chans advance at French Open

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with Reuters, PARIS

Rafael Nadal returns to Nikoloz Basilashvili during their French Open match at Roland Garros in Paris yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Taiwan’s Chan sisters were both victorious at the French Open on Thursday, but while elder sister Yung-jan cruised into the second round of the women’s doubles at Roland Garros, younger sister Hao-ching had to battle to advance in the mixed doubles.

Third seeds and pre-tournament favorites Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis took just 68 minutes to see off the challenge of Naomi Broady of Britain and Maria Sanchez of the US 6-0, 6-3.

The Taiwanese-Swiss duo saved two of three break points and converted five of 14 to set up a second-round clash with Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland and Kristyna Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

British No. 3 Broady’s defeat came after she posted a picture on Instagram of herself holding two bouquets of roses that were left in the women’s locker room by Novak Djokovic.

“When Novak Djokovic surprises the women’s locker room with two huge bouquets of beautiful roses, so you take them all home for yourself... just kidding. Merci Novak,” Broady wrote.

“Sir Andy Murray we’re now awaiting yours,” she added.

In the first round of the mixed doubles, sixth seeds Chan Hao-ching and Jean-Julien Rojer battled to a 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) victory over Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia and Daniel Nestor of Canada in 1 hour, 25 minutes.

The Taiwanese-Dutch duo saved two of four break points and converted three of six to set up a second-round clash with Casey Dellacqua of Australia and Rajeev Ram of the US.

In the men’s singles, an all-Asian tie between Kei Nishikori of Japan and South Korea’s Chung Hyeon in the third round today could be one to savor.

Nishikori has long been Asia’s No. 1, but while he was struggling to complete his preparations for Paris because of injury, Chung has been putting together some impressive clay-court performances.

The bespectacled 21-year-old went through qualifying to reach the quarter-finals of the Barcelona Open, where he lost to Rafael Nadal, before going one better at the Munich Open, where he knocked out Gael Monfils.

Ranked 67th in the world and third in Asia behind Nishikori and Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun, Chung got to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time on Thursday with an impressive 6-1, 7-5, 6-1 win over Uzbek Denis Istomin.

Chung, who took up tennis at the age of seven to help with his eyesight and is a graduate of Nick Bollettieri’s famed academy, said he had mixed feelings about going head-to-head with the world No. 9 for the first time.

“I think a little bit maybe nerves because he’s a top player and maybe little fun, little excited,” he told reporters. “I’m looking for him, because he’s really good and he’s No. 1 in Asia and he’s top 10.”

“And Asian people are a little short, but he is also short, but he make top 10,” Chung said. “So everyone looking for him, and me too.”

Nishikori, who has been battling an inflamed wrist, brushed off a ragged opening-round victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis to reach the third round on Thursday with a fairly routine win over France’s Jeremy Chardy.

The eighth seed faltered at 3-0 in the final set when he had an injury timeout and let Chardy back into the contest, before closing out a 6-3, 6-0, 7-6 (7/5) victory.

“What was different was that I was able to go on the attack,” Nishikori, who reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros two years ago, told the Kyodo news agency. “I have many things to address. It wasn’t good that I allowed him to rally after leading 3-0 in the third set, but otherwise it was perfect.”

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