Sun, Jul 16, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Chan Hao-ching reaches doubles final

LONG SEMI:The Taiwanese player called for medical treatment before booking her second final at Wimbledon after a previous appearance in the mixed doubles in 2014

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AP, LONDON

Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching reacts during her women’s doubles semi-final at Wimbledon in London on Friday. Chan and partner Monica Niculescu were to play in the final after press time last night.

Photo: CNA

Chan Hao-ching on Friday advanced to her second final at Wimbledon, but it was not plain sailing for the Taiwanese as she and partner Monica Niculescu took three minutes short of three hours to see off the challenge of Makoto Ninomiya and Renata Voracova in their women’s doubles semi-final.

The ninth-seeded Taiwanese-Romanian duo eventually edged the Japanese-Czech pairing 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 9-7 on Court 1 at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in southwest London.

Chan had to call for medical treatment to her shoulder and back in the latter stages of the final set, but the Taiwanese held her nerve and delivered enough power to get the ninth seeds over the line.

Chan and Niculescu saved two of six break points and converted four of 18, winning 141 of the 275 points contested to advance to a final against Russian second seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who defeated 12th seeds Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-2 in the earlier semi-final on Court 1.

It was to be Chan’s second appearance in a final at the third Grand Slam of the season after she finished runner-up in the mixed doubles alongside Max Mirnyi of Belarus at Wimbledon in 2014.

The Russians finished runners-up in the women’s doubles in 2015 when they lost the final to Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza.

In the men’s singles, much has changed for Roger Federer since he played in — and won — his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon in 2003.

First of all, as he reminded everyone after moving into his 11th title match at the All England Club — with a shot at his eighth championship, more than any man in history — he favored a ponytail and some scruff on his cheeks way back then.

Nowadays, his hair is short, his face clean shaven.

Another significant difference for Federer — whose 36th birthday is on Aug. 8, making him the oldest men’s finalist at Wimbledon since 1974 — is family.

“I didn’t have kids running around, potentially waking me up at night,” he said. “Today we’ve got to, like, close down the doors. Say: ‘Daddy is sleeping.’”

He is a father of four: twin boys, aged eight; twin girls, nearly eight.

On the court, there are ways in which the Federer who faces Marin Cilic today is not the same as the Federer who beat Mark Philippoussis 14 years ago. The larger racket, for example, or the increased willingness to hit over the top on his backhand.

In truth, though, what is most important is that Federer is still as capable as ever of beating everyone who stands in his way.

“This guy doesn’t really seem [to be] getting any older or anything like that, or slowing down at all,” said Tomas Berdych, who lost to Federer in the semi-finals.

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