Chan sisters advance to quarter-finals in Miami

GRUELING::Venus Williams took nearly three hours to beat Kiki Bertens on the hottest day of the tournament and next faces defending champion Johanna Konta

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter, with AP, KEY BISCAYNE, Florida

Tue, Mar 27, 2018 - Page 16

Taiwan’s Chan sisters on Sunday survived a scare to advance to the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Miami Open, while Venus Williams saved three match points to rally past Kiki Bertens in the third round of the women’s singles.

Second seeds Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan rallied after a disappointing second set to defeat Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine and Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia 6-3, 1-6, 10-7 in 1 hour, 17 minutes.

The Taiwanese duo saved five of 10 break points and converted four of eight to advance to a quarter-final against Czech sixth seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who defeated Spanish pairing Lara Arruabarrena and Arantxa Parra Santonja 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 10-7.

In the women’s singles, Williams slammed a forehand winner on the final point to win a seesaw marathon and she had enough energy left to spin in delight at the net, a triumphant fist leading the way.

Twenty-one years after her Key Biscayne debut, wins at the Miami Open remain something to celebrate.

Williams squandered an early lead, fell behind late and then overcame three match points to rally past Kiki Bertens 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 in the third round.

She blew a 5-0 lead in the first set and was down 5-3 in the third, but swept the final four games, holding serve at love for the victory.

“It didn’t look good sometimes, but that’s why you keep playing until the last point and that’s why I love this game” Williams told the crowd.

The match took nearly three hours on the hottest day of the tournament so far and the 37-year-old would have to recover quickly to take on defending champion Johanna Konta.

The 11th seed Konta advanced with much less drama, beating 22nd seed Elise Mertens 6-2, 6-1.

In the men’s singles, fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro extended his winning streak to 13 matches by eliminating 26th seed Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-2.

Del Potro won his first ATP Masters 1000 title last week in Indian Wells, California.

Second seed Marin Cilic swept Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 7-6 (7/4) and third seed Grigor Dimitrov lost to Jeremy Chardy 6-4, 6-4.

Williams regrouped after a disastrous opening set, which she was four times a single point from winning.

In the final set she erased two match points at 5-3 and another in the next game.

Williams, who lives in South Florida and has long been a favorite with Key Biscayne fans, said they kept her going.

“I felt everybody behind me. My opponent played well. I had a lot of chances; she had a lot of chances. I hope it was really entertaining for you all,” Williams told the crowd. “I love it here. This was my first big win. I have a lot of great memories. I hope I can get another win this year. You never know.”