Taiwan’s Chang Kai-chen yesterday crashed out of the semi-finals of the doubles at the Hong Kong Open, while sixth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova set up a final against seventh seed Daria Gavrilova in the singles.
Chan and Monique Adamczak of Australia fell to a comprehensive 6-0, 6-1 defeat to Chinese duo Lu Jiajing and Wang Qiang in 55 minutes at the Victoria Park Tennis Stadium.
Lu and Wang did not face a single break point and converted five of 13, winning 50 of the 72 points contested to advance to today’s final against Taiwanese top seeds and reigning champions Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan.
“[It was] very tough as a lot of wind and it was not easy to serve,” Pavlyuchenkova said of her match. “But I’m really happy with the way I handled the pressure and the weather.”
Sixth-seeded Pavlyuchenkova is chasing her third WTA singles title this year.
The 23-year-old Gavrilova beat Jennifer Brady of the US 6-0, 7-5 with few errors and whizzing forehand winners down the line.
Brady’s nerves settled in the second set where she finally found some rhythm. Holding her serve for the first time in the match, Brady hit the ball with more pace and broke back to level at 4-4 in the decider.
Seventh-seeded Gavrilova played a superb drop shot to win the match.
“I’m not going to just go out and enjoy [the final],” Gavrilova said. “I’m going to go out there and fight and try and win my second title.”
Top-seeded Elina Svitolina withdrew from the tournament after hurting her right leg in the China Open last week.
Rafael Nadal survived a roller-coaster encounter with fourth seed Marin Cilic to power into today’s
Shanghai Masters men’s single final and a possible showdown with old rival Roger Federer.
The Spanish world No. 1, who has never won the tournament but is on a terrific run of form, finally saw off the Croatian after saving three set points in the opener on the way to a tense 7-5, 7-6 (7/3) victory.
No. 2 Federer plays Juan Martin del Potro in the other semi-final later Saturday after the Argentine said he was fit despite hurting his wrist in a fall in the quarter-finals.
Del Potro fell and hurt his wrist in his quarter-final victory, organizers said.
The 29-year-old Argentine, who has had several operations on his wrists in recent years, practiced ahead of last night’s Federer showdown and tournament organizers said he had informed them he was fit to play.
However, it remains to be seen whether he will be 100 percent free of the pain in his left wrist.
The 2009 US Open champion on Friday clambered off the court floor to knock out Serbia’s Viktor Troicki 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 in their quarter-final.
Del Potro, whose previous wrist injuries have threatened his career, took a nasty tumble at 2-2 in the deciding set and most of the weight of his body ended up on his outstretched left hand, bending it painfully backward.
He required several minutes of medical attention at the back of the court.
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