Taiwanese tennis stars strike gold

SISTER ACTS::While Chan Yung-jan and Chan Hao-ching were helping Taiwan win gold at the East Asian Games, Hsieh Su-wei and Hsieh Shu-ying progressed in Japan

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Tue, Oct 08, 2013 - Page 20

Taiwan won two gold medals at the East Asian Games in Tianjin, China, yesterday in the men’s and women’s team tennis.

In the first singles match of the men’s final, Taiwan’s Yang Tsung-hua, who is still recovering from a knee injury suffered earlier this year, lost to Nam Ji-sung of South Korea 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 7-5, before Huang Liang-chi beat Na Jung-woong 6-4, 6-1 to set up a doubles decider.

Taiwanese duo Peng Hsien-yin and Lee Hsin-han, who play together on the tour frequently, secured the gold with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Nam and Lim Ji-sup in 58 minutes.

In the women’s team final, Chan Chin-wei lost the first singles match 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to China’s Yang Zhaoxuan, before Chan Yung-jan leveled the final with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Liu Fangzhou.

In the deciding doubles match, Chan and her younger sister, Chan Hao-ching, defeated Chinese duo Yang Zhaoxuan and Wang Yafan 6-3, 6-3.

Taiwan also picked up two other gold medals yesterday.

In the men’s 58kg to 63kg taekwondo, Chen Yang-wei defeated South Korea’s Tae Hyun-kim in the final, while in the women’s under-58kg weightlifting Kuo Hsin-chun lifted 237kg to also strike gold.

The sixth East Asian Games, which began on Sunday, run until Oct. 15.

JAPAN WOMEN’S OPEN

By Dave Carroll

Staff reporter, with AFP, OSAKA, Japan

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and her younger sister, Hsieh Shu-ying, cruised into the second round of the doubles at the Japan Women’s Open yesterday.

The Hsieh sisters defeated fellow Taiwanese Chang Kai-chen and her partner, Shuko Aoyama of Japan, 6-2, 6-3 in 56 minutes at the WTA tournament in Osaka.

The sisters converted five of six break-point chances to set up a second-round clash with Kristina Mladenovic of France and Italy’s Flavia Pennetta after the second seeds eased past Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic and China’s Zheng Jie 6-4, 6-2.

In the singles, Heather Watson, who became the first Briton in 24 years to win a WTA Tour title in Osaka last year, bowed out to Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig in the first round.

Puig, seeded eighth at the event and ranked 48th in the world, outlasted world No. 92 Watson 6-4, 6-4 in 94 minutes.

Third-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur, the 2011 US Open champion, beat Johanna Larsson of Sweden 6-4, 6-2 to reach the second round of the tournament which carries a total purse of US$235,000.

The singles’ field has been diluted by the 11th-hour withdrawal of top seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia due to pain in her lower back.

She was injured while losing 6-2, 6-2 to world No. 1 Serena Williams in the final of the China Open in Beijing on Sunday, according to the tournament organizers.

Last year’s semi-finalist, Misaki Doi of Japan, whipped Spain’s Silvia Soler-Espinosa 6-1, 6-2, while her compatriot Kurumi Nara defeated Caroline Garcia of France 6-3, 6-2.

Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard, seeded fifth, trounced Varvara Lepchenko of the US 6-3, 6-0 in the other first-round singles match on the tournament’s opening day at the Utsubo Tennis Center.

The 21-year-old Watson beat Taiwan’s Chang in her first-ever WTA final at the tournament last year. She has not won a WTA Tour event since.

SHANGHAI MASTERS

AFP, SHANGHAI

Giant American John Isner battled back from a set down against Colombian qualifier Santiago Giraldo to win his opening match at the typhoon-hit Shanghai Masters yesterday.

The 14th seed dodged heavy rain and swirling winds by playing under a closed roof at the Qizhong Tennis Center, but struggled to impose his heavy-serving game on the 83rd-ranked Colombian in a performance strewn with errors.

The 2.08m tall Isner — the top player in the US — lost the first set 6-4, but dug deep to win the second 7-5, leveling the match on his seventh set point.

Isner, who fired down 29 aces, but made 32 unforced errors, broke Giraldo in the 12th game of the decider to take it 7-5.

Earlier, Spain’s Marcel Granollers was a 6-4, 6-4 winner over out-of-sorts Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, who required attention from the physio for an apparent left-ankle problem.

Granollers, 36th in the world, broke the bespectacled Tipsarevic, ranked 12 places higher, early in both sets, which proved decisive.

In the late match yesterday, France’s Gael Monfils cruised past Japanese qualifier Tatsuma Ito 6-3, 6-2.

Roger Federer, seeded fifth in the singles, teamed up in the doubles competition with China’s Zhang Ze, ranked 271st in the world, and they cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 victory over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson and Dmitry Tursunov of Russia.

The Swiss 17-time Grand Slam winner, who has slipped to seventh in the singles rankings, is in danger of missing out on next month’s end-of-season ATP World Tour Finals in London for the first time since 2001.

He faces a potential quarter-final meeting with defending champion and top seed Novak Djokovic, who has dropped one place to world No. 2 behind Rafael Nadal, despite beating the Spaniard in the final of the China Open on Sunday.

The top eight seeds in Shanghai all have a bye through to the second round.

Typhoon Fitow slammed into China’s east coast yesterday, packing winds of more than 200kph and bringing drenching rain, forcing changes to the scheduling of the tournament.