Tue, Oct 29, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Mixed start for Taiwanese at WTA Finals

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter

The Chan sisters yesterday began their WTA Finals bid with a narrow defeat as they failed to maintain the momentum from a second-set rally and match fellow Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei, who began with a hard-fought victory late on Sunday.

Fifth seeds Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan rallied from a set down, then saved two match points in the second set to force a super tiebreak against third seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France, but eventually fell to a 6-2, 5-7, 10-6 defeat in 1 hour, 39 minutes in their opening Red Group match.

The Taiwanese duo won only 48 percent of points on their first serve and just 33 percent on the second as their opponents converted six of 10 break points to take an early lead in the group at the season-ending tournament.

Second seeds Hsieh and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic had to weather a second-set comeback against Australian Open champions Samantha Stosur of Australia and Zhang Shuai of China in their Purple Group opener before completing a 6-4, 4-6, 10-5 victory in 1 hour, 28 minutes on Sunday night.

In a tight match, Hsieh and Strycova saved three of four break points and converted just one of five, but it was enough to record their second career victory over the seventh seeds after a quarter-final success on the clay in Madrid earlier this season.

“It’s always good to start with a win and it was a very tight match with both sets quite equal, but thankfully we are the winners and I thought our performance was very solid today. We are both extremely happy,” Hsieh told the WTA Web site.

The Taiwanese-Czech duo next face Czech sixth seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who had a more straightforward 6-4, 6-2 victory against fourth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Xu Yifan of China, despite the match not starting until almost midnight.

“I think we played really good, aggressive, and my partner helped me a bunch of times,” Siniakova said. “I think we’re pleased with this one.”

“It was really difficult playing this late, it’s never easy,” Krejcikova added.

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