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.
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.
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