Taiwanese sisters Hsieh Su-wei and Hsieh Shu-ying crashed out of the quarter-finals of the doubles competition at the Japan Women’s Open yesterday.
Second seeds Kristina Mladenovic of France and Italy’s Flavia Pennetta provided too strong for the Taiwanese duo on Court 1 as they completed a 6-2, 6-2 victory.
Mladenovic and Pennetta converted five of their six break-point chances in the match to end Taiwanese interest in the tournament in Osaka and set up a semi-final against either Japanese duo Misaki Doi and Miki Miyamura or Varara Lepchenko of the US and Zheng Saisai of China, who are due to play their quarter-final today.
In the singles, Japanese wild-card Kurumi Nara outlasted eighth seed Monica Puig of Puerto Rico 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) to reach the quarter-finals.
The 21-year-old Osaka student, ranked 87th in the world with no title to her name, needed almost two hours to tame world No. 48 Puig, one year her junior.
Nara next faces Slovenia’s Polona Hercog, who reached the last eight when her second-round opponent, second seed Sabine Lisicki of Germany, pulled out with a back injury.
In the other second-round matches yesterdeay, third seed Samantha Stosur of Australia, the 2011 US Open champion, ousted Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic 6-4, 6-2, No. 5 seed Eugenie Bouchard of Canada defeated Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum 6-2, 6-2 and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic battled back from a set down to whip Vania King of the US 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.
It was Nara’s fifth straight appearance at the Japan Women’s Open and the first time that she has reached the quarter-finals of a tournament carrying a total prize money of US$235,000 or more.