Wed, Sep 04, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Chan sisters to face off in semis

SHOWDOWN:Rafael Nadal ramped up his quest for a fourth US Open title with an impressive win, while top-ranked defending champion Naomi Osaka was ousted

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AFP, NEW YORK

Taiwan’s Latisha Chan, left, and Croatia’s Ivan Dodig celebrate after winning their US Open mixed doubles quarter-final against Raquel Atawo of the US and Fabrice Martin of France at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on Monday.

Photo: Screen grab off Facebook

The Chan sisters on Monday set up a semi-final showdown in the mixed doubles at the US Open, while fellow Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei’s tournament ended after a shock defeat in the third round of the women’s doubles.

Fourth seeds Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig survived a second-set comeback by unseeded Raquel Atawo of the US and Fabrice Martin of France to complete a 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 10-3 victory in 1 hour, 31 minutes on Court 17.

The Taiwanese-Croatian duo did not create a single break point and failed to save either of the two they faced, but the reigning Wimbledon and French Open champions won 78 percent of their points on first serve to set up a semi-final against top seeds Chan Hao-ching and Michael Venus, who defeated eighth seeds Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands 6-3, 7-6 (7/0) on Grandstand Court.

The Taiwanese-New Zealand duo raced to a 5-0 lead in the first set before being pegged back by their determined opponents, but they converted five of 11 break points and saved four of eight to complete the victory in 1 hour, 18 minutes.

Earlier on Grandstand Court in the third round of the women’s doubles, reigning Wimbledon champions and second seeds Hsieh and Barbora Strycova crashed out after they were stunned 6-4, 6-3 by 14th seeds Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko in 1 hour, 33 minutes.

WOMEN’S SINGLES

Top-ranked defending champion Naomi Osaka was ousted on Monday by Belinda Bencic, while Croatian Donna Vekic erased a match point to join the Swiss 13th seed in a quarter-final matchup.

Bencic’s 7-5, 6-4 triumph ensured that 21-year-old Japanese star Osaka would fall from atop the rankings and would not become the first repeat US Open winner since Serena Williams in 2014.

“The challenge cannot be bigger against Naomi,” the 22-year-old Bencic said. “I had to be at the top of my game and I’m really pleased with how well I handled my nerves at the end.”

“She played pretty clean. She had a specific plan she wanted to execute,” Osaka said. “I guess just being aggressive. I can look at this and be very disappointed and mad, but I’m not mad about it. I’d like to reach higher rounds. That’s definitely what I’ll aim for in Australia.”

Osaka’s exit means there would be four different women’s Grand Slam winners in a season for the third consecutive year, a first in the Open era.

Vekic, the 23rd seed, saved a match point in the second set and made her first Slam quarter-final by rallying past German 26th seed Julia Goerges 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-3.

“I don’t even know how I won this match,” Vekic said. “She was serving for the match. She had match point. I just kept fighting and believing I could win. It feels pretty amazing.”

Belgian 25th seed Elise Mertens cruised past 141st-ranked US wildcard Kristie Ahn 6-1, 6-1 in 67 minutes to book a quarter-final berth against 19-year-old Canadian 15th seed Bianca Andreescu.

“I just tried to play my best game,” said Mertens, who has dropped only 16 games in four matches. “I try to improve every time. I try to invest in my game. It’s coming out this week and hopefully I can go much further than this.”

MEN’S SINGLES

Rafael Nadal ramped up his quest for a fourth US Open title with an impressive win over 2014 champion Marin Cilic to advance to the quarter-finals, while Alexander Zverev slumped to a four-set defeat.

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