Sat, Jan 19, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Mixed day for Taiwan in doubles

Staff writer, with CNA and AFP, MELBOURNE

Latisha Chan, second right, shakes hands with Jiang Xinyu, left, as Chan Hao-ching, right, and Wang Qiang look on after their Australian Open match in Melbourne yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Taiwan’s Chan sisters yesterday fought their way through to the third round of the Australian Open women’s doubles, but Hsieh Su-wei was ousted after she and her US partner were unable to capitalize on several opening set chances.

Seventh seeds Latisha Chan and Chan Hao-ching topped Jiang Xinyu and Wang Qiang of China 6-2, 6-3 in 65 minutes in a match in which both teams had trouble holding serve.

The Chans won six of their opponents’ eight service games, despite having their own serve broken three times.

The start of the match was delayed by rain, but it did not trouble the Chans.

“Was quite a long day because of the weather, but got some amazing support today ... so it was worth the wait,” Latisha Chan said on Facebook.

The sisters were the last remaining Taiwanese in the women’s doubles after Hsieh and Abigail Spears were defeated in their second-round match.

Eighth seeds Hsieh and Spears fell 7-6 (8/6), 6-2 to Samantha Stosur of Australia and Zhang Shuai of China in 90 minutes.

In a tight opening set, Hsieh and Spears failed to convert a break point in the opening game, but saved two in the eighth game to keep the set tied at four apiece.

They then raced to a 40-0 lead in the following game, seemingly poised to take control of the set, but two aces and a winner by their opponents kept the match on serve.

Hsieh and Spears grabbed a 5-1 lead in the tiebreaker and ended up with two set points at 6-4, but wasted one with a double fault, and Stosur and Zhang fired three straight winners to clinch the set.

Hsieh is still in the singles draw and is to face fourth seed Naomi Osaka this morning.

Hsieh tends to frustrate opponents with sharply angled shots and changes of pace, but Osaka told ESPN she will be ready.

“I feel like you already walk into the match knowing she’s going to be doing a lot of tricky stuff,” Osaka said of Hsieh. “It’s not anything new. I think that’s the mentality I have to have.”

Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova stunned defending champion Caroline Wozniacki to sweep into the last 16 and join Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, who clinically disposed of their opponents.

The Russian five-time Grand Slam winner was at full throttle in ending the Dane’s dream of a second major title.

Sharapova won 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and is next to play local hope Ashleigh Barty, who bounced Greece’s Maria Sakkari for a berth in the quarter-finals.

Second seed Nadal called young Australian Alex de Minaur “one of the best in the world” ahead of their evening clash, then proceeded to hand him a tennis lesson, dismantling the teenager 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

Nadal’s reward is a meeting with Tomas Berdych, who rallied to beat Argentine 18th seed Diego Schwartzman 5-7, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.

Federer was also on fire in taming big-serving American Taylor Fritz 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 to stay on track for a third successive title at Melbourne Park.

Next up for him is fiery Greek 14th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Georgia’s 19th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 6-4.

Meanwhile, unseeded American Amanda Anisimova continued her dream run, ousting 11th seed Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets.

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