Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei yesterday got her Wimbledon campaign off to a winning start by ousting the 30th seed in the first round of the women’s singles a day after Serena Williams said she was still adjusting to the unique challenge of chasing an eighth title while making time for her baby daughter.
World No. 48 Hsieh defeated Russian world No. 29 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in 2 hours, 6 minutes at the All England Club in London.
The 32-year-old Taiwanese saved nine of 13 break points and converted five of 17, winning 107 of the 207 points contested to advance to a second-round clash with Spanish world No. 88 Lara Arruabarrena, who defeated Ana Bogdan of Romania 6-1, 3-6, 8-6.
Williams was on Monday back at Wimbledon for the first time since giving birth to Alexis Olympia in September last year and the former world No. 1 was having to get used to the increased demands on her time.
Few female players have succeeded at Grand Slam level after becoming mothers — only Kim Clijsters did it recently at the US Open in 2009, while Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong Cawley also won majors after giving birth.
The joys of being a mum have not dulled Serena’s fierce competitive instincts and, aiming to add to her haul of 23 major titles, she started her latest Wimbledon campaign with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands, but the 36-year-old conceded it is not easy to come to terms with spending time away from her daughter to focus on tennis.
“It’s hard. I realized at Roland Garros, if the days were long, I was playing singles and doubles there, that was hard because I felt guilty,” she said. “I was like, I haven’t seen Olympia, like what am I doing. If it’s the shorter days, now that I’m not playing doubles in this event, I have the day off, I think that will help. She definitely notices when I’m away. I’m there every day of her life. So she does get super excited when I come back in. You guys are making me miss her... I also think it’s healthy in a way for me to do what I need to do, be that working mom, then go back home and be the mom.”
Having endured complications from her daughter’s birth, Williams was playing only her second Grand Slam this year.
She won her first three matches at the French Open before pulling out due to a pectoral injury.
Since a 2014 third-round loss to Alize Cornet, Williams has now won 15 successive matches at Wimbledon — she took the title in 2015 and 2016 before missing last year’s tournament due to her pregnancy.
Twenty years after making her Wimbledon debut, there were a few signs of rust against Rus and Serena was pleased to get her first Wimbledon match as a mother out of the way.
“I didn’t think about that actually, but it felt good to play, just to be back on the grass. Two years, over a year. It definitely felt good,” she said.
Williams is the second-oldest player in the women’s draw, but even motherhood cannot persuade her to consider retiring when she sees Swiss star Roger Federer thriving at the same age.
“I’m just playing until Roger stops. Gosh, how long? Did he put a time limit on it?” she said. “We in it. We in it together. As long as he’s here, I’m going to try to be here.”
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017