Tue, Jun 05, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan’s Chan sisters advance to quarter-finals

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with Reuters, PARIS

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns to Fernando Verdasco of Spain in their French Open men’s singles fourth-round match at Roland Garros in Paris on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Taiwan’s Chan sisters on Sunday were both victorious at the French Open, while Novak Djokovic doused Fernando Verdasco’s fire then aimed a dig at the organizers for not watering the courts as he moved confidently into the men’s singles quarter-finals at Roland Garros.

Eighth seeds Chan Hao-ching and Yang Zhaoxuan advanced to the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Sorana Cirstea of Romania and Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain in 1 hour, 32 minutes.

The Taiwanese-Chinese duo converted five of 15 break points as their opponents sent to seven double faults, winning 82 of the 152 points contested to advance to a quarter-final against Romanians Irina Bara and Mihaela Buzarnescu, who defeated Americans Jennifer Brady and Vania King 6-4, 6-3.

In the second round of the mixed doubles, second seeds Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig needed to win a tiebreak to oust King and Franko Skugor of Croatia 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 in 1 hour, 26 minutes.

The Taiwanese-Croatian duo saved four of six break points and converted two of two, winning 66 of the 127 points contested to advance to a quarter-final against Nicole Melichar of the US and Alexander Peya of Austria, who defeated Zhang Shuai of China and John Peers of Australia 6-4, 3-6, 10-7.

In the men’s singles, Verdasco gave 12-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic some tricky moments early on, but it was the slippery Court Phillipe Chatrier clay that raised the Serb’s hackles.

Djokovic appeared to lose his footing a few times during the first and second sets of his 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 fourth-round win and he made his feelings known to the chair umpire.

“It was a very warm day and after the first set they decided not to water the court, which I thought it was not the right decision,” Djokovic told reporters. “I just questioned the decision from the chair umpire... What I don’t like is that there is no participation of the players.”

Djokovic looked as though he would need a hose to cool down Verdasco’s thunderous ground strokes which, in the early stages, looked capable of knocking the 2016 champion off balance, but in the end he won with something to spare.

Having seen off Verdasco’s early charge he said he felt in control and was clinical in taking his break points.

“That was quite a beginning for both of us,” he said. “Very physical, very long games, a lot of exchanges. He’s got weapons everywhere. Serve, forehand, everything. He loves playing on clay, but I think in the most important moments today, I just managed to play an extra shot in the court, and just made him run and just made him uncomfortable.”

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