Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei on Wednesday fought back from a set and a double break down to advance to her fourth WTA Tour quarter-final of the season at the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Rabat, Morocco.
Second seed Hsieh fought back to record a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena in 1 hour, 58 minutes, her fifth straight victory over the world No. 110.
World No. 24 Hsieh saved 10 of 15 break points and converted six of seven to advance to a quarter-final against British seventh seed Johanna Konta, who defeated Ana Bogdan of Romania 6-1, 6-7 (6/8), 6-2 in 1 hour, 59 minutes.
“On clay, it can be pretty good, it can be pretty bad. I know I can suddenly get the feeling and I can feel really comfortable on the court,” Hsieh told the WTA Web site.
“I was aggressive and I picked up my game almost at the last moment,” she said of rallying from a set a 3-5 down.
“It was tough, because normally I handle the court pretty well, but today it looked like she was handling the drop shots and the volleys better than me — I was a little bit upset,” she added.
The Taiwanese No. 1’s only appearance in a WTA clay-court semi-final was in Rabat last year and she had the chance repeat that feat against world No. 47 Konta.
However, Hsieh has a 2-4 career record against the Briton and she has lost their previous three meetings — at Wimbledon in 2017, in Rome last year and in Indian Wells, California, in March.
Also advancing to the quarter-finals was Belgian top seed Elise Mertens, who defeated Ivana Jorovic of Serbia 6-4, 6-0. She was due to face Greek sixth seed Maria Sakkari, who beat Bulgaria’s Isabella Shinikova 6-4, 6-4.
Australian fourth seed Ajla Tomljanovic defeated Swiss wild-card Timea Bacsinszky 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 to set up a clash with Rebecca Peterson of Sweden, who beat Polona Hercog of Slovenia 7-5, 3-6, 6-1.
Eighth seed Alison van Uytvanck crushed Varvara Lepchenko of the US 6-4, 6-0 to set up a quarter-final against fellow Belgian Ysaline Bonaventure, who outlasted Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
A decade ago, the plight of former champion gymnast Zhang Shangwu shocked China and made world headlines when he was discovered begging in Beijing, prompting a recycling magnate to give him a job. That should have heralded a turnaround for Zhang, who had been imprisoned for theft after injury ended his gymnastics career. However, after another stint in jail, Zhang is again making a living on the streets, doing handstands and singing for a live online audience in a parking lot in Baoding. Athletes in China are often reared in special schools from a young age and can struggle to adjust to normal
‘HISTORIC’ MOMENT: ‘ Matsuyama Masters’ was trending on Twitter in Japan, as TV stations ran breaking news flashes and golf-related shares rose on the stock market Japan on Sunday sucked in its breath as Hideki Matsuyama almost blew his chance to win the Masters, but the golfer’s one-shot victory at Augusta National sparked a joyous reaction back home as the country celebrated another sporting triumph in testing times. Matsuyama, 29, became the first man from Japan to win one of golf’s major titles, a feat that drew praise from government and Olympics officials with the Tokyo Games just three months away. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato expressed “congratulations and respect from the heart” for Matsuyama’s “historic” win, which came as ray of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It
ANTI-ASIAN SENTIMENT: Speaking of Chang Yu, Indians manager Terry Francona said errors are part of baseball, but ‘ignorance and racism ... shouldn’t be anywhere’ “Stupid and ignorant” is what Indians manager Terry Francona called racist social media messages sent to first baseman Chang Yu. They have no place in baseball or “anywhere,” Francona added. On Tuesday, Chang shared some anti-Asian postings he received on Twitter after he made a costly error in the ninth inning of Monday’s game in Chicago. The throwing error allowed the White Sox to score the winning run. Chang, who is Taiwanese, posted some of the messages on his account, while asking for tolerance. One of the messages referred to the shape of his eyes and another referred to COVID-19. “Exercise your freedom
ON THE TABLE: While another Japanese official dismissed the comments, a minister in charge of vaccinations said that there could be a total bar on spectators at the Games Canceling the Tokyo Olympics over COVID-19 remains a possibility, a senior Japanese politician said yesterday, as a surge in cases renews concerns about the Games with less than 100 days to go. Toshiro Nikai, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) No. 2, said the Olympics must be canceled “without hesitation” if the virus situation is too severe. A year after their historic postponement, the 2020 Olympics remain beset by COVID-19 problems, with parts of the torch relay forced behind closed doors and public support consistently low. Organizers and Olympic officials insist the Games will go ahead safely, but Nikai said that all options