Sat, May 18, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Taiwan’s Chan sisters advance to Rome semis

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AFP, ROME

Switzerland’s Roger Federer returns to Borna Cedric of Croatia in their Internazionali d’Italia men’s singles match in Rome on Thursday.

Photo: AP

Taiwanese sisters Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan yesterday rallied from a set down against the third seeds to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali d’Italia in Rome, while Roger Federer on Thursday saved two match points against Borna Coric to advance to the quarter-finals of the men’s singles as defending champion Rafael Nadal and top seed Novak Djokovic raced through in straight sets.

However, Australian firebrand Nick Kyrgios was disqualified after a foul-mouthed rant during his third-round match against Norway’s Casper Ruud which could land him with a lengthy suspension.

The Taiwanese seventh seeds battled to a 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 10-7 victory over Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai in 1 hour, 54 minutes at the Foro Italico.

The Chan sisters saved six of 11 break points and converted four of 13, winning 64 percent of points on their second serve to even their career record against the Australian-Chinese duo to 1-1 after a 6-7 (6/8), 7-5, 10-5 loss in the semi-finals in Miami in March.

The Taiwanese duo face Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Demi Schuurs in the semi-finals after the eight seeds took just 56 minutes to oust Andreja Klepac of Slovenia and Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 6-3, 6-0.

The Chan sisters have a 1-0 career record against the German-Dutch duo after they beat them 6-1, 3-6, 10-6 in the final in Doha in February.

In the men’s singles on Thursday, Federer came through 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9/7) against 13th seed Coric after earlier beating Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-4, 6-3 in the second round as the players doubled up after rain wiped out play on Wednesday.

Federer, a four-time finalist in Rome, trailed 0-4 before dropping the first set, coming back in the second and saving two match points in the third-set tiebreak.

“Definitely felt like I got a little lucky, obviously,” Federer said.

Federer was next to play Greek eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Monte Carlo Masters champion Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-3.

Nadal dropped just two games throughout the day, dispatching Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 6-0 in the third round after earlier also dropping just one game against France’s Jeremy Chardy.

Djokovic, the winner in Madrid on Sunday, beat German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-0 after earlier easing past Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-1, 6-3.

The four-time Italian Open winner was next to face Argentine seventh seed Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the semi-finals.

Kyrgios’ tournament finished early after he threw a chair across court in a tantrum, before storming off and being disqualified.

The controversial 24-year-old started arguing with the umpire in the third set.

World No. 36 Kyrgios had leveled the match at one set each, but was given a game penalty early on in the third set for swearing.

His response was to kick out at a water bottle, before throwing a chair onto the court, packing his bag and then storming off, shouting: ‘I am fucking done.”

Kyrgios was automatically disqualified with Ruud winning 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 2-1 to advance to the third round before losing to Del Potro.

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