Wed, Feb 20, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan’s Hsieh, Chan sisters advance

SO EASY:Hsieh Su-wei beat Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich in 68 minutes, while the Chan sisters beat India’s Prarthana Thombare and the Netherlands’ Eva Wacanno in 55 minutes

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AFP, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

China’s Lin Zhu celebrates a win against Belgium’s Elise Mertens in their Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships match in Dubai on Monday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Hsieh Su-wei yesterday cruised into the third round of the singles at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, while fellow Taiwanese Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan on Monday advanced to the second round of the doubles in the United Arab Emirates.

Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh took just 68 minutes to complete a 6-1, 6-2 victory over world No. 33 Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

The world No. 31 saved all four break points she faced and converted four of 11, taking advantage of the Belarussian’s five double faults and winning 64 percent of points on her second serve to advance to the third round.

The victory improved Hsieh’s career record over Sasnovich to 3-0, including a 6-2, 6-0 victory at the Qatar Open last week.

In the doubles on Monday, newly crowned Qatar Open doubles champions the Chan sisters took 55 minutes to complete a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Prarthana Thombare of India and Eva Wacanno of the Netherlands.

The Taiwanese ninth seeds did not face a single break point and converted four of five, winning 77 percent of points on their second serve to set up a second-round clash against Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia and Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia, who defeated Shuko Aoyama of Japan and Lidziya Marozava of Belarus 7-5, 7-6 (7/4).

Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki on Monday withdrew from the singles due to a viral illness before her first-round match against Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele.

Wozniacki, who won the 2011 title in Dubai, also missed last week’s Qatar Open because of the issue that she first felt around the Christmas holiday and the problem lingered with her through the Australian Open.

She failed to retain her Melbourne crown after losing to Maria Sharapova in the third round of this year’s tournament and is yet to return to the court.

“It sucks. I’ve gotten ready to play these two weeks [Doha and Dubai] where I usually play well,” the Dane said.

“If I can’t even play at a reasonable level, there’s no reason for me to go out there and just play one set — I want to go out there and I want to win,” she added.

Wozniacki was replaced by losing Slovenian qualifier Polona Hercog.

Doha champion Elise Mertens was eliminated after a three-hour struggle, losing to China’s 107th-ranked Zhu Lin 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.

Mertens, the 16th seed, started poorly but rallied to win the first set before Lin struck back, opening a 5-1 lead in the second only for the Belgian to reel her in and get back on serve.

However, Lin held her nerve, claiming the second set to send the match to a decider and recovering from a 3-1 deficit in the third.

Lin, whose best Grand Slam performance came in losing at the third round of last year’s US Open, next plays world No. 23 Lesia Tsurenko.

World No. 56 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia beat Croatian Donna Vekic 6-4, 7-6 (11/9) to claim a second-round spot against reigning champion Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

With world No. 1 and top seed Naomi Osaka putting Asian women’s tennis back on the map, Jabeur dreams of doing the same for her own continent.

“I’m now the Naomi Osaka of Africa,” she said. “It’s inspiring to see how players can inspire a country or a continent. I’m trying to send a message that it’s not impossible. You have to work hard. I want to see a lot of players from Tunisia to be here one day.”Three Americans secured their places in the second round as Alison Riske upset 13th seed Julia Georges 6-4, 7-4; Sofia Kenin crushed Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-3, 6-0; and Jennifer Brady stunned former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 6-0.

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