Chan Hao-ching exited the women’s doubles at the Miami Open in the second round on Monday, as the Taiwanese and her partner, Jelena Jankovic, fell to a comprehensive 6-1, 6-3 defeat to eighth seeds Caroline Garcia and Katarina Srebotnik.
The French-Slovenian duo saved four of seven break-point chances and converted seven of eight to complete the victory over the Taiwanese-Serbian pairing in 58 minutes to set up a quarter-final against second-seeded Russian duo Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, who defeated wild-cards Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and Karin Knapp of Italy 6-2, 6-2 in their second-round clash.
Taiwanese hopes in Miami rested with Hsieh Su-wei, who, along with partner Flavia Pennetta of Italy, was due to play her second-round match against Monica Niculescu of Romania and Alexandra Panova of Russia yesterday.
In the women’s singles, a beaming Venus Williams, basking in her latest victory, stood near her changeover chair launching autographed balls into the stands, applauding the fans who scrambled for the souvenirs.
For Venus, tennis is still fun.
She is 34, but on the rise in the rankings and she beat former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 7-6(7/1) on Monday to reach the quarter-finals.
Venus is a three-time Key Biscayne champion, but her most recent title came in 2001. Seeded 16th, she is into the quarter-finals at the tournament for the first time since 2012.
“Tennis has always been a blast, but, you know, I’m feeling good out there,” Venus said.
She could meet her sister, Serena, in the final.
Serena, who has won the tournament a record seven times, advanced by beating 2006 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-3.
Sloane Stephens of the US made it to the final eight at Key Biscayne for the first time by beating 18-year-old Belinda Bencic 6-4, 7-6(7/5).
In men’s third-round play, four-time champion Novak Djokovic defeated qualifier Steve Darcis 6-0, 7-5 and next faces Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Fourth seed Kei Nishikori and fifth seed Milos Raonic also won.
John Isner, the lone remaining American in the men’s draw, defeated ninth seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(7/2), 6-2.
While Serena, 33, has been ranked world No. 1 for the past two years, Venus’ fortunes are only lately on the upswing after health issues caused a long slump that stirred retirement speculation.
In January, at the Australian Open she reached her first Grand Slam quarter-final in five years before losing, and with the victory over Wozniacki she is 4-0 this year against top-10 players.
Venus skipped Indian Wells, where Serena recently ended a 14-year family boycott after being booed there as a teenager.
Venus said it was wonderful to see the warm reception her sister received there last month, but was noncommittal regarding whether she would return.
Given the way she is playing lately, she might have several chances. Venus credits her persistence and optimistic nature for her recent resurgence, which comes more than three years after she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain and sap energy.
“I don’t give up, and I believe in myself no matter what the odds are and what you may experience,” Venus said. “I have always seen it as something to overcome and not something that could stop me.”
Unlike her sister, she has never tired of tennis, a problem for some top players even before their skills decline.
“I never get bored, actually,” Venus said. “Tennis is definitely not pushing paper. I mean, when you get out there you have no idea what’s going to happen in the point. You can try to plan it the best you can, but it’s all up in the air. You have to improvise every single time. That never gets boring.”
Williams won on Monday with her familiar high-wire approach, swinging aggressively from the baseline. Sometimes she missed badly, but she hit 40 winners to nine for Wozniacki.
“Today, I played similar to how young ‘V’ would have played, either knocking a winner or knocking an error,” Venus said, with a grin. “It’s fun to just hit out, though. It feels good.”
She moved forward more often than in the past, winning 14 points at the net, and used her long strides to chase down balls in the corners and extend rallies.
The stadium crowd applauded Venus’ staying power. So did the 21-year-old Stephens, who could face her in the final.
“She is a superhuman,” Stephens said. “ I don’t know how she does it.”
“She just has so much belief in herself and her ability,” US Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez said. “It is a great story for sure.”
Key Biscayne has always ranked among Venus’ favorite tournaments, because she lives 90 minutes up I95 in Palm Beach Gardens. She is playing in the event for the 16th time, which leaves lots of room for reminiscing.
“My first match here, there was a rat in the stands,” Venus said, with a laugh. “They had to stop the match. That was intense.”
She enjoys looking back, and also looking ahead. She faces Carla Suarez Navarro for a berth in the semi-finals.
The all-English Champions League final might be played in England after Turkey was added to its “red list” of countries where all but essential travel is banned due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Chelsea and Manchester City are due to meet on May 29 in Istanbul and UEFA was hoping to allow about 10,000 fans into the biggest club game of the European soccer season. However, the British government on Friday warned supporters not to travel to Turkey after imposing the new travel restrictions and said that the English Football Association was in talks with Champions League organizer UEFA about staging the game in
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga yesterday said that he has never “put the Olympics first,” the same day an opinion poll showed that nearly 60 percent of people in Japan want the Olympics canceled less than three months before they begin. Japan has extended a state of emergency in Tokyo until the end of the month and is struggling to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases, raising further questions about whether the Games should go on. Its vaccination rate is the lowest among wealthy nations. International Olympic officials, Tokyo planners and Suga have insisted that the Games would go on in “a
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf, who has earned a reputation as one of the NFL’s fastest players, plans to test his speed against some of the US’ top sprinters on Sunday with a possible eye on the US Olympic trials. Metcalf is to run in the 100m at the USA Track & Field (USATF) Golden Games and Distance Open in Walnut, California. The Pro Bowler’s name appeared on the official entry list for the meet on Monday afternoon, when he appeared to confirm his participation with an enigmatic Twitter post. Others who have entered the race include 2016 Olympian Mike Rodgers
Jose Mourinho and AS Roma seem like a good fit, after the Portuguese was surprisingly named as the club’s new coach on Tuesday, but it is unlikely to be an easy return to management for a man with a point to prove. “No break, I am always in football” was the short, sharp response Mourinho gave reporters after his sacking by underperforming English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur 15 days ago. However, few expected him to be back quite so soon. Several Italian newspapers on Tuesday carried stories on former Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri being lined up to replace the under pressure Paulo