Wed, Jan 15, 2020 - Page 16 News List

Chan sisters, Hsieh beaten in Australia

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AP and AFP, HOBART and ADELAIDE, Australia

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei returns to Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in their Adelaide International women’s singles first-round match in Australia yesterday.

Photo: AFP

The Chan sisters’ disappointing start to the new season continued yesterday at the Hobart International when they fell to a second consecutive first-round defeat, while fellow Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei was ousted in the first round of the singles at the Adelaide International after a three-set battle with Aryna Sabalenka.

All looked well for top seeds Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan after they won the first set against unseeded Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine and Sharon Fichman of Canada, but the Taiwanese sisters could not maintain that momentum as they fell to a 2-6, 6-3, 10-4 defeat in 1 hour, 19 minutes.

The Chan sisters won only 55 percent of points on their first serve and 29 percent of their first-return points as they fell to a second straight first-round defeat after their earlier elimination at the Brisbane International last week.

India’s Sania Mirza won her first doubles match since returning to the WTA Tour following the birth of her son.

Mirza and Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine rallied to beat Oksana Kalashnikova of Georgia and Miyu Kato of Japan 2-6, 7-6 (7/3), 10-3 to advance to the quarter-finals.

“Today was one of the most special days of my life to have my parents and my little baby boy with me in my first match after so long... and we WON our first round,” Mirza tweeted after the win. “Feel very grateful for the love I am receiving.. BELIEF!! Takes you places YES my baby boy, we did it.”

Mirza, who is married to Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik, is playing at her first tournament since the China Open in October 2017.

In Adelaide, Hsieh lost her 100 percent career record against Belarusian Sabalenka, despite giving the sixth seed a scare before falling to a tight 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 loss in 2 hours, 5 minutes.

Hsieh saved six of 11 break points and converted three of four, but she failed to add to her victories in Rome in 2018 and in Birmingham, England, last year.

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty also survived a scare before battling to a 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round.

“I was able to play my style and control a bit more in the third set, but she hung around and got more aggressive,” the Australian said. “It was a very close one — but all of ours are. She controlled the match with me trying to do the best I could.”

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