Sun, Jul 02, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Chan and Hingis make Eastbourne look easy

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AFP

Novak Djokovic returns during his semi-final against Daniil Medvedev at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, England, on Friday.

Photo: EPA

Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis continued their seemingly unstoppable march to a second consecutive doubles title at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, England, on Friday.

On a rain-affected day on the grass courts on the south coast of England, the second seeds took just 43 minutes to rout wild-cards Nicole Melichar of the US and Anna Smith of Britain 6-0, 6-1 in the semi-finals of the Wimbledon warm-up tournament.

The Taiwanese-Swiss duo did not face a single break point and converted five of eight to complete a second victory over Melichar and Smith in a week, after they also defeated the same pairing 6-3, 6-3 in the semi-finals of the Mallorca Open the previous week.

Chan and Hingis were due to face Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the final after press time last night.

The Australian duo ousted third seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Czech Andrea Hlavackova 6-2, 6-3 in 60 minutes in the earlier semi-final.

The Taiwanese-Swiss duo had a 1-0 career record against the Australians after a victory in the round-of-16 in Miami earlier this year as they looked to add to their titles at Indian Wells, Rome, Madrid and Mallorca.

In the men’s singles, Novak Djokovic eased into the final after beating Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.

Top seed Djokovic, playing the week before Wimbledon for the first time since 2010, brushed aside Medvedev 6-4, 6-4 and was to face second seed Gael Monfils in the final, which was to finish after press time.

The Frenchman edged out fellow countryman Richard Gasquet 6-2, 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (7/4).

British hopes were extinguished as a back injury forced Johanna Konta to pull out of her clash against Karolina Pliskova, with Heather Watson then falling in three sets, losing 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 to Caroline Wozniacki.

Seventh-ranked Konta had a nasty fall in Thursday’s quarter-final win over Angelique Kerber and was subsequently diagnosed with a thoracic spine injury.

In other tennis news, Andy Murray is to begin his defense of the Wimbledon title against Kazakh lucky loser Alexander Bublik after the draw was made on Friday for the third Grand Slam of the year at the All England Club.

The Scot, who is bidding to win Wimbledon for a third time, was drawn in the same half as two-time champion Rafael Nadal, with Djokovic and Roger Federer in the bottom half.

In the women’s singles, Kerber is to open up against US qualifier Irina Falconi and is seeded to face Pliskova in the semi-finals.

The Taiwanese in the draw were Lu Yen-hsun, who faces Simone Bolelli of Italy in the first round of the men’s draw.

In the women’s singles, Chang Kai-chen is to play China’s Wang Qiang, while Hsieh Su-wei is to play Konta.

In the men’s doubles, Hsieh Cheng-peng and Max Schnur of the US face Belarussian Max Mirnyi and Marcin Matkowski of Poland.

In the women’s doubles, Chan Hao-ching and partner Monica Niculescu of Romania are to play Raluca Olaru of Romania and Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay; Hsieh Su-wei and Czech Barbora Krejcikova face German Julia Gorges and Czech Barbora Strycova; Chang and Sloane Stephens of the US are to play the Chinese pairing of Liang Chen and Duan Yingying; Chan Yung-jan and Hingis face Alize Cornet of France and Swiss Xenia Knoll; and Chuang Chia-jung and partner Misaki Doi of Japan face Francesca Schiavone of Italy and Georgian Oksana Kalashnikova.

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