Taiwanese eighth seed Hsieh Su-wei on Monday rallied from a set down to oust Kaia Kanepi in the opening round of the Internationaux de Strasbourg, while top seed Ashleigh Barty stepped up her French Open preparations with a ruthless display to cruise past Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum 6-4 6-4.
World No. 49 Hsieh had to fight back after losing the first set and took 2 hours, 14 minutes to complete a 2-6, 7-6, 6-2 victory over the Estonian world No. 51.
The Taiwanese mixed four aces with 10 double faults, saving seven of 12 break points and converting six of 13 to improve her career record over Kanepi to 3-1 after losing her previous match to the Estonian at last year’s US Open.
Hsieh faces Czech wild-card Lucie Safarova in the second round after the world No. 54 defeated Russian qualifier Marina Melnikova 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
Safarova has a 4-0 career record against Hsieh, including victories last season in Nottingham, England, and Budapest.
Australian No. 1 Barty struck 24 winners and saved both break points she faced to seal her victory in 1 hour, 15 minutes.
The 22-year-old’s win set up a second-round encounter with in-form Istanbul Cup winner Pauline Parmentier, after the home favorite overcame China’s Wang Yafan 6-4, 7-6 (10/8).
“I’ve never played her before, but I know it’s probably the complete opposite game style to who I played today,” world No. 17 Barty said.
“For me, it’s another challenge. It’s always very tough playing French players in their country,” she said.
In the doubles, Taiwanese world No. 1 Latisha Chan yesterday advanced to the quarter-finals, while younger sister Chan Hao-ching fell to a shock defeat on Monday.
Latisha Chan and Kumkhum defeated Liang Chen of China and Jessica Moore of Australia 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) in 1 hour, 32 minutes.
The Taiwanese-Thai duo saved three of six break points and converted four of eight, winning 74 of the 129 points contested to advance to a quarter-final against Makoto Ninomiya of Japan and Yana Sizikova of Russia, who stunned second seeds Shuko Aoyama of Japan and Renata Voracova of the Czech Republic 7-6 (7/5), 6-2.
Top seeds Chan Hao-ching and Yang Zhaoxuan of China fell to a shock 3-6, 6-4, 10-2 loss to unseeded Romanians Mihaela Buzarnescu and Raluca Olaru.
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