Tue, Oct 17, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Chan sisters retain title in Hong Kong

THREE-SET MARATHON:Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova finally won the singles title when she converted her third match point at 1:03am yesterday morning

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AFP, HONG KONG

Chan Yung-jan, left, and Chan Hao-ching hold their trophies after retaining the Hong Kong Open doubles title in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Photo: screen grab from Facebook

The Chan sisters on Sunday claimed their second doubles title of the season at the typhoon-affected Hong Kong Open, while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova came from behind to win a marathon singles final 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) against Daria Gavrilova in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Top seeds and reigning champions Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan took just 47 minutes to complete a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Chinese duo Lu Jiajing and Wang Qiang at the Victoria Park Tennis Stadium.

The Taiwanese sisters saved the only break point they faced and converted five of eight, winning 51 of the 78 points contested to add the Hong Kong title to the Taiwan Open title they won at the Taipei Arena in February.

It was world No. 2 Chan Yung-jan’s 11th doubles title of the season after the Taiwanese and Swiss world No. 1 Martina Hingis claimed the titles in Eastbourne, Mallorca, Rome, Madrid, Indian Wells, Cincinnati, the US Open, Wuhan and Beijing, taking her prize money for the season to just short of US$1.4 million.

Earlier on Sunday, Typhoon Khanun, packing winds of 155kph and heavy rain, had virtually shut down the territory, delaying the final which had originally been scheduled for a 2pm start.

The weather finally relented just after 7pm and typhoon warning signals were lowered across Hong Kong, but an initial attempt to start the final at 8:30pm was aborted when the rain returned.

The final eventually started at about 9:20pm.

In the singles, it was three minutes past 1am yesterday morning when sixth seed Pavlyuchenkova converted the third of her match points.

It enabled the world No. 21 to edge over the winning line after 3 hours, 11 minutes of attritional tennis against her Australian opponent punctuated by frequent rain delays.

Almost an hour earlier the Russian had spurned two championship points at 5-4 on her own serve, only to see another heavy shower send the players scurrying for cover, and Pavlyuchenkova only had herself to blame for not getting the job done earlier after racing into a 3-0 lead when the match eventually began after a near five-hour delay.

She failed to serve out for the first set at 5-3 after being in control almost throughout and saw gritty world No. 22 Gavrilova steal in 7-5 on the back of a run of three unanswered games.

“I’m just happy to finally finish this match in brutal conditions,” Pavlyuchenkova said after being presented with the trophy.

The second set was almost a carbon copy of the first, but this time the Russian managed to hold her nerve at 5-3 and took it to a decider against the seventh seed.

Both players had chances in the third set, but they remained deadlocked as tiredness set in and the clock ticked past midnight

Pavlyuchenkova then broke for 5-4, but once again failed to close out on her own serve.

After a 40-minute final rain delay the pair broke each other’s serve yet again and the match headed for the deciding tiebreak.

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