Thu, Mar 14, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Chan sisters edge past Hsieh, Strycova

SIBLING SUPPORT:Chan Hao-ching expressed confidence in her partner, who took home the women’s doubles title in the tournament two years ago with Martina Hingis

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AFP, INDIAN WELLS, California

The Chan sisters on Tuesday came out on top of a Taiwanese showdown in the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the BNP Paribas Open, while top seeds Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka crashed out of the singles at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California.

Eighth seeds Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan edged a tight quarter-final against fellow Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-2, 11-9 in 1 hour, 26 minutes.

The Chan sisters saved four of seven break points and converted four of 10, winning 71 percent of their returns on second serve to claim their first career victory over the reigning champions and third seeds.

Hsieh and Strycova had previously come out on top in their two previous meetings with the Chans, in the third round at Indian Wells last year and in the semi-finals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last month.

Asked about the victory over the reigning champions, Chan Hao-ching pointed to her sister’s title triumph at Indian Wells in 2017 alongside Martina Hingis.

“It was a really hard-fought super tiebreaker, but when you said they are last year’s champions, I thought my partner is the title winner from two years ago and I have confidence in my partner,” she told the Central News Agency.

The Chan sisters next face the winners of the quarter-final that was to pit Czech top seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands and Donna Vekic of Croatia.

In the men’s singles, Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber stunned Australian Open champion Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 to claim his first career win over a world No. 1 to reach the fourth round.

Serbian superstar Djokovic was playing his first tournament since lifting a record seventh title in Melbourne, taking his tally of Grand Slam victories to 15.

He had won eight of nine prior meetings with Kohlschreiber, but could find no answer to the world No. 39, who had come up empty in 11 prior attempts to beat a top-ranked rival.

“It’s a very special moment,” Kohlschreiber said. “Of course, playing the top guys is always a big pleasure, but most of the time they beat you.”

In a match that resumed after rain stopped play just one game in on Monday night, Kohlschreiber said that the warmer daytime conditions suited him better, and Djokovic agreed.

“I liked my chances more at night against Kohlschreiber,” Djokovic said. “Completely different conditions today: Ball bounces much higher.”

“Obviously, he uses his spin very well. I wasn’t playing well. One of those days,” he said. “I congratulate him for playing tactically really well and getting me out of my comfort zone. He deserved to win.”

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal stayed on track to improve his ranking as he swept past Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-1 to reach the round-of-16.

Nadal took his record against the world No. 26 to 7-0 in emphatic style, never facing a break point in a match lasting 1 hour, 16 minutes.

“I think I played a very solid match. I did a lot of things well,” Nadal said.

Fourth seed Roger Federer eased through with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over friend and fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka.

In the women’s singles, world No. 1 and reigning champion Osaka was routed by Belinda Bencic on a day that saw world No. 2 Simona Halep sent packing as well.

Bencic, ranked 23rd in the world, defeated Osaka 6-3, 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals.

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