Thu, Jan 04, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Hsieh cruises into quarters at ASB Classic

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with Reuters

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei yesterday advanced to the quarter-finals of the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, while younger sister Hsieh Shu-ying crashed out of the first round of the doubles.

World No. 83 Hsieh Su-wei eased to a 6-4, 6-3 second-round victory over Belgian world No. 183 Ysaline Bonaventure in just 69 minutes at the ASB Tennis Arena.

The 31-year-old Kaohsiung native saved five of eight break points and converted five of seven, winning 69 of the 118 points contested to advance to a quarter-final against Czech third seed Barbora Strycova, who battled to a 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2 victory over Sweden’s Johanna Larsson in 2 hours, 23 minutes.

Caroline Wozniacki continued to build on her WTA Finals victory last year with another impressive performance on her way to a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Croatia’s Petra Martic.

The Danish world No. 3 ended last season with the biggest title of her career in Singapore and returned a day after thrashing Madison Brengle in her season opener to hit 21 winners against eight unforced errors in the 53-minute win.

“I’m trying to stay aggressive,” Wozniacki said in a court-side interview. “I still made some unforced errors. It’s taking a few matches to play like 100 percent, but I still felt I played pretty well today.”

Top seed Wozniacki started brightly with a break of serve to love on her way to an early 3-0 lead and added another break in the eighth game to wrap up the opening set in just 24 minutes.

Martic tried to mount a comeback early in the second set when she broke for a 2-0 lead, but Wozniacki won the final six games behind impressive serving numbers, including six aces, to book a quarter-final with 19-year-old wild-card Sofia Kenin.

“I’ve worked on everything I need to work on in the off-season,” Wozniacki said as she continued her preparations for the Australian Open starting in Melbourne on Jan. 15. “Now it’s just a matter of working out how to incorporate that into your match or into a situation where you maybe get nervous.”

American Kenin knocked out compatriot Varvara Lepchenko 6-4, 7-6 (8/6) earlier in the day, while there were also victories for German second seed Julia Goerges, Polona Hercog of Slovenia and American qualifier SachiaVickery.

In the late match, Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Taylor Townsend of the US 6-3, 7-5.

In the doubles, wild-cards Hsieh Shu-ling and 19-year-old Auckland native Jade Lewis fell to a crushing 6-1, 6-0 defeat to second seeds Nao Hibino of Japan and Darija Jurak of Croatia in just 42 minutes.



World No. 1 Simona Halep yesterday assured herself of top billing at the Australian Open after powering past local hope Duan Yingying and into the quarter-finals of the Shenzhen Open in China.

Halep hit 21 winners and won five out of eight break points to prevail 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, securing her No. 1 ranking going into next week and top seeding for Melbourne ahead of Caroline Wozniacki and Garbine Muguruza.

However, the Romanian did not have it easy until her rival suffered a thigh problem late on in the match after blazing through the first set to take the lead.

Caught off guard by Duan’s big hitting early on, Halep turned things around in the second set and broke the world No. 91 twice for a 5-1 lead before leveling the contest.

Duan took a medical timeout and returned for the decider with heavy strapping on her left thigh.

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