Sat, Jan 12, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan’s Chan sisters advance to Hobart final

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with Reuters, HOBART, Australia

Taiwan’s Chan Hao-ching returns in her and sister Latisha Chan’s Hobart International women’s doubles semi-final against Romania’s Monica Niculescu and China’s Yang Zhaoxuan in Australia yesterday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Taiwanese top seeds Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan yesterday advanced to their second WTA Tour doubles final in a week at the Hobart International, while 20-year-old American Sofia Kenin advanced to her first WTA Tour singles final.

The Chan sisters cruised to a 6-3, 6-4 victory over third seeds Monica Niculescu of Romania and Yang Zhaoxuan of China in 1 hour, 22 minutes at the Hobart International Tennis Centre.

The Taiwanese duo saved six of eight break points and converted four of nine, winning 61 of the 116 points contested to advance to their second consecutive final and will hope to go one better than their defeat at the Brisbane International last Saturday.

The top seeds face Kirsten Flipkens and Johanna Larsson in today’s final after the fourth seeds battled past 17-year-old Anastasia Potapova of Russia and 18-year-old Dayana Yastremska of Ukraine 7-5, 6-4 in 1 hour, 27 minutes in the second semi-final.

The Belgian-Swedish duo saved eight of 11 break points and converted five of 12, winning 73 of the 137 points contested.

The Chan sisters are looking for the 15th WTA Tour doubles title as a pairing and their first since winning in Hong Kong in 2017.

In the singles, big-hitting American Kenin reached her first WTA Tour singles final when she stunned sixth seed Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-4.

In windy conditions, unseeded Kenin kept her composure to land 77 percent of her first serves in play and broke her French opponent four times en route to a convincing victory.

Cornet was Kenin’s third seeded victim of the tournament after she recorded upsets against top seed Caroline Garcia in the opening round and seventh seed Flipkens in the quarter-finals.

“I tried to just calm myself down, not get over excited and play one point at a time,” the 20-year-old said. “I’ve beaten a lot of top players this past week, so I’m really happy with the way I’m playing.”

Kenin, who has not dropped a set all week, is to take on Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in today’s final after the Slovakian outlasted Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 7-6 (7/2), 4-6, 6-2 in 2 hours, 30 minutes.

The 24-year-old fired 42 winners to move into her fifth career singles final, where she is seeking her fourth title.

“It feels so amazing to be in the final here,” Schmiedlova said. “I still can’t believe it, because I was not expecting this at all. Especially tough today against Belinda — I’ve known her since I was a child, we practice together sometimes and she’s a really good friend of mine.”

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