All four Taiwanese in the OEC Taipei WTA Challenger singles competition lost their first-round matches yesterday without managing to win a set between them on a disappointing day for the home fans at the Taipei Arena.
No. 2 seed Yanina Wickmayer beat qualifier Chan Chin-wei 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, but was made to fight hard by the world No. 325. The local girl held her own against the 2009 US Open semi-finalist, facing only three break points in the entire contest, although the third proved fatal, costing her the second set and with it the match.
Despite the defeat, Chan remained upbeat, saying she had nothing to lose against a player as good as Wickmayer, the world No. 59, who has three WTA Tour titles under her belt and was a finalist in Auckland, New Zealand, at the start of the year.
“I had no special strategy,” Chan said. “I just tried my best and hoped to grab my chances.”
Joking that she had surprised even herself by sending down two aces in her opening service match, Chan said her opponent’s serve improved as the match went on, becoming more accurate and effective.
Overall, though, Chan was pleased with the way things went after winning two qualifying matches to make the main draw, despite suffering from a cold.
“I enjoyed playing in front of everybody in Taipei, it’s my home town and I really thank everybody who came to support [me],” she said.
Chan Yung-jan, the champion in 2009, put in a disappointing performance against qualifier Ekaterina Bychkova, unforced errors and a failure to grab break-point opportunities costing her dear in a 6-1, 7-5 victory for her Russian opponent.
The first set was closer than the scoreline suggested, with all of Bychkova’s service games going to deuce, but Chan failing to take any of her three break-point chances. The second set was also hard-fought, but Chan put a forehand volley long on Bychkova’s fourth match point to concede the contest.
Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand cruised past Taiwan’s Lee Ya-hsuan 6-0, 6-3 in an early match, while China’s Zheng Saisai made short work of Chan Yung-jan’s younger sister, Chan Hao-ching, beating the doubles specialist 6-3, 6-1
No. 5 seed Kurumi Nara and No. 6 seed Caroline Garcia made early exits yesterday, losing to Anna-Lena Friedsam and Anna Schmiedlova respectively.
Germany’s Friedsam survived a late rally by her Japanese opponent to prevail 6-3, 7-5, while Schmiedlova disposed of France’s Garcia 6-7 (3/7), 6-1, 7-5.
Eighth seed Ajla Tomljanovic lost on Monday.
In other singles matches yesterday, Olga Govortsova of Belarus was made to fight hard to defeat China’s Qiang Wang 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, while Petra Martic of Croatia defeated qualifier Lesley Kerkhove of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-4.
The one bright spot for Taiwan was in the doubles, where Hsieh Shu-ying and Misaki Doi of Japan defeated No. 1 seeds Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan and Zhang Shuai of China 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 in their first-round match.
Additional reporting by staff writer