Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei on Thursday upset the 32nd seed in the second round of the women’s singles at the Miami Open, while world No. 1 Simona Halep survived a scare from Oceane Dodin.
World No. 61 Hsieh defeated Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 6-2 in 1 hour, 22 minutes in Florida to improve her career record against the Romanian to 2-0 after winning their only previous meeting on the grass courts in Eastbourne, England, last year.
The Taiwanese saved three of six break points and converted six of 11, winning 73 of the 131 points contested to set up a third-round clash with fifth seed Karolina Pliskova, who defeated Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 7-5, her first victory in four meetings with the Russian.
“I’ve never played Hsieh, but she has a very strange game; I’ve watched her a few times on TV, and with her drop shots and slices, it’s clear she’s trying to mix things up a lot,” Pliskova told the WTA Web site of her next opponent.
Halep ralied form a set down to defeat lucky loser Dodin 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 and while the Romanian was unhappy with her performance, she said it had been a “good day at the office.”
Halep, who almost joined eight other seeds eliminated on a day of upsets in south Florida including No. 7 Carolina Garcia of France and No. 12 Julia Goerges of Germany, was delighted with the way she dug in and fought in the deciding third set on Center Court.
“Maybe previous years I couldn’t win the matches in the third set, so I’m really happy that I changed this to myself and I feel stronger,” Halep told reporters. “So when I go to the third set, I don’t panic. I’m relaxed and I’m just fighting till the end, and I’m sure that I have a big chance to win the match, so I just go for it.”
An upset looked possible in the first set when Dodin’s big first serve troubled Halep, who was crushed by eventual champion Naomi Osaka in the Indian Wells semi-finals last week, but the defensive-minded Halep, who at times reached down to rub a troublesome right ankle, improved as the match wore on, getting the better of the Frenchwoman in extended rallies and in the key moments.
The match was in the balance until Halep had break points at 5-5 in the third set and jumped all over a weak second serve from the 21-year-old to move ahead.
Halep won the next game to love, rocketing down an ace on match point to set up a meeting with Polish 30th seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who defeated Belgian Alison van Uytvanck 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).
“I felt just that I played bad, but it’s a good day at the office and I’ll take it,” Halep said. “You have these days and when you [do], don’t give up, it’s the most important thing. I think that’s why I won today, because I didn’t give up.”
“Road Runner” Alphonso Davies lived up to his nickname with another lightning sprint on Saturday as Bayern Munich opened a 10-point lead in the Bundesliga. Having defeated second-placed Borussia Dortmund 1-0 away in midweek, Bayern enjoyed a 5-0 romp over Fortuna Duesseldorf. Defender Mathias Joergensen scored an early own-goal before Benjamin Pavard, Robert Lewandowski (2) and Davies scored for Bayern. With five games remaining, the defending champions, who have won their past eight league games, are comfortably on course for an eighth straight league title. Davies scored the best goal of the game when the fleet-footed defender pressed Duesseldorf into making a mistake, barged
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Taiwan Steel celebrated a big win over Tatung in the Taiwan Premier League yesterday, while undefeated Taichung Futuro remained at the top of the table, although their lead is only one point. Four of the eight teams were in action, completing matches postponed the previous weekend due to rain, with Taipower and Hang Yuan playing out a scoreless draw in Kaohsiung. Taiwan Steel are sorting out their early-season problems as they chase the leaders and it showed against defending champions Tatung at the Jhubei Stadium in Hsinchu County. Haitian striker Benchy Astama netted a brace and midfielder Kuo Po-wei’s outstanding solo effort sent
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