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.
As they celebrated Naomi Osaka’s victory in the final of the US Open in New York City’s Flushing Meadows on Saturday, Tokyoites were eager to embrace their heroines’ stand against racial injustice. Osaka, who won her third Grand Slam title with a victory over Victoria Azarenka, has used her platform to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, wearing a mask bearing the name of a different African American before each of her seven matches in the championship. She had donned masks bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and Philando Castile. On Saturday, she walked
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
THOROUGH THRASHING: Hualien City beat Taichung Blue Whale 2-1, ending their three-year winning streak with one round of matches left and eight points to spare Hualien City on Saturday clinched this year’s Taiwan Mulan Football League title with one game to spare, by beating Taichung Blue Whale 2-1 at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City. Hualien City have scored 38 points this season. Blue Whale are second on the scoreboard with 30 points, while Taipei Bravo are third with 23 points. One final round of matches is to be played on Saturday. It is the fourth league trophy for Hualien City, and ends Blue Whale’s three-year winning streak. Hualien had won the title from 2014 to 2016. Both teams defended well, leaving few chances in front
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7