Fri, Jan 12, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Chan, Hlavackova cruise into final

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with Reuters, SYDNEY

Latisha Chan yesterday cruised into the women’s doubles final at the Sydney International, in which the Taiwanese world No. 1 and partner Andrea Sestini Hlavackova are to face a duo who advanced without having to hit a ball.

Chan, who previously played on the WTA Tour using her Chinese name, Chan Yung-jan, and Czech Sestini Hlavackova took just 61 minutes to complete a comfortable 6-2, 6-4 victory over Lara Arruabarrena of Spain and Lauren Davis of the US in their semi-final on Court 1 at Sydney Olympic Park.

The top seeds did not face a single break point and converted three of 10, winning 60 of the 101 points contested.

In today’s final, they face third seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Xu Yifan of China, who were handed a walkover when second-seeded Czech duo Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova withdrew without hitting a shot.

In the singles, Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi continued her impressive run by racing past Agnieszka Radwanska 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday to set up a last-four clash with Angelique Kerber.

Giorgi, belying her ranking of 100th in the world, beat US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round and then ousted two-time Wimbledon and former Sydney champion Petra Kvitova.

She is yet to drop a set over six matches in qualifying or the main draw, and is next to meet world No. 22 Kerber, who staged a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Dominika Cibulkova in the last eight.

Former world No. 1 Kerber fell out of the top 20 last year, but has made a strong start to this year ahead of next week’s Australian Open with victories over Lucie Safarova and Venus Williams this week.

The other semi-final in Sydney is to be an all-Australian affair between Ashleigh Barty and Daria Gavrilova.

Barty completed a confident 6-3, 6-2 victory over Czech Barbora Strycova, while Gavrilova advanced after her last-eight opponent, Garbine Muguruza, withdrew due to a leg injury.

“I think it’s amazing for Sydney and for Australian tennis — we’re gonna have an Aussie in the final, which is awesome,” Barty said after her win at the Ken Rosewall Arena. “Dash [Gavrilova] and I know each other very well so hopefully we can play some good tennis.”

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