Wed, Jan 03, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Latisha Chan cruises in opener

REVENGE?Latisha Chan and Andrea Sestini Hlavackova next face Nadiia Kichenok and Anastasia Rodionova, who knocked out Chan Hao-ching and Katarina Srebotnik

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter,with AP, BRISBANE, Australia

Andrea Sestini Hlavackova of the Czech Republic, left, and Taiwan’s Latisha Chan pose for a photograph at the Brisbane International in Australia yesterday.

Photo: screen grab from Facebook

Taiwan’s Latisha Chan yesterday picked up where she left off at the end of last season as she cruised into the quarter-finals at the Brisbane International, but it was not an encouraging start to the season for younger sister Chan Hao-ching.

Top seeds Latisha Chan, who had previously played on the WTA Tour using her Chinese name, Chan Yung-jan, and new partner Andrea Sestini Hlavackova took just 58 minutes to defeat Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands and Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia 6-3, 6-0 in their season opener.

The Taiwanese world No. 1 and Czech world No. 5 saved three of four break points and converted six of nine, winning 53 of the 87 points contested to advance to a quarter-final against Nadiia Kichenok and Anastasia Rodionova, after the Ukrainian-Australian pairing rallied from a set down to oust Chan Hao-ching and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia 3-6, 7-6 (7/2), 10-6 in 1 hour, 32 minutes.

In the singles, Andy Murray’s long-term hip injury forced him out of the tournament, cast serious doubt over his participation in the Australian Open and had him contemplating surgery.

Former world No. 1 Murray pulled out of the Brisbane event after failing to practice yesterday, two days ahead of his scheduled return to competitive tennis for the first time since July last year.

“I came here with every intention of making a strong start to the year, but sadly my team and I don’t feel that I’m where I need to be just yet to compete at the highest level,” the two-time Brisbane International champion said in a statement.

His withdrawal was confirmed hours after Garbine Muguruza, the Wimbledon champion and women’s top seed, retired from her opening match because of leg cramps.

Muguruza fell to the court behind the baseline and had treatment on her legs before retiring from her opening match against Aleksandra Krunic while leading in the third set.

Krunic rallied from 5-2 down in the second set, forcing the third in a tiebreaker, and earned a spot in the quarter-finals with a a 5-7, 7-6 (7/3), 1-2 retired result after almost two-and-a-half hours in humid conditions on Pat Rafter Arena.

“I don’t really cramp a lot, so I’m actually surprised that today my body was like that,” Muguruza said, adding that her calf muscles started to cramp early in the second set.

In other second-round matches, fifth seed Johanna Konta rallied from a set down to defeat Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6, 6-1, 6-4; seventh seed Anastasija Sevastova cruised past Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-1; and Alize Cornet beat Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-1, 7-5.

The Brisbane International had been Muguruza’s only scheduled tuneup event before the first major of the season gets under way in Melbourne on Jan. 15.

The 30-year-old Murray is also undecided, planning to stay in Brisbane for a few days before deciding whether or not to contest the Australian Open or fly home.

“Obviously, continuing rehab is one option and giving my hip more time to recover,” Murray wrote in an Instagram post. “Surgery is also an option, but the chances of a successful outcome are not as high as I would like which has made this my secondary option and my hope has been to avoid that.”

In men’s first-round matches yesterday, US qualifier Michael Mmoh beat Federico Delbonis 6-3, 6-4; Chung Hyeon upset fifth seed Gilles Muller 6-3, 7-6 (7/1); Kyle Edmund rallied for a 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 win over Denis Shapovalov; and Denis Istomin beat seventh seed Damir Dzumhur 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-2.

This story has been viewed 2325 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top