Taiwan’s Chang Kai-chen will play in both finals at the Jiangxi Women’s Tennis Open in Nanchang, China, today after she battled for almost three hours to overcome Lu Jiajing of China in their singles semi-final yesterday, a day after rallying from a set down to seal a spot in the doubles final.
The 24-year-old Taiwanese world No. 191, who reached a career-high 82nd in the rankings in 2010, had to come back from a set down on Center Court again yesterday, but she eventually prevailed 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/3) in a marathon semi-final at the Nanchang International Sports Center that lasted 2 hours, 50 minutes
Chang, who won the gold medal in the women’s singles at the Summer Universiade in South Korea on July 12, saved six of 14 break points and converted six of 17, winning 125 of the 247 points contested to edge Lu, who saved two match points at 5-6 in the third set, but could not prevent the Taiwanese from claiming the third-set tiebreaker at the WTA 125K tournament.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kun, Taipei Times
In today’s singles final, Chang faces an even tougher opponent, top seed and former world No. 1 Jelena Jankovic, after the Serbian world No. 25 cruised past Han Xinyun of China 6-1, 6-2 in 1 hour, 27 minutes in the second semi-final on Center Court.
On Friday night, Chang and Zheng Saisai of China advanced to today’s doubles final after rallying from a set down to defeat second-seeded Chinese duo Han Xinyun and Zhang Kailin 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 10-8.
The third-seeded cross-strait pairing saved one of four break points and converted four of 11, winning 85 of the 159 points contested to complete the hard-fought victory in 1 hour, 51 minutes on Center Court.
Taiwan is guaranteed a champion in Nanchang today after top seeds Chan Chin-wei of Taiwan and Wang Yafan of China comprehensively defeated Japanese duo Miyu Kato and Kotomi Takahata 6-2, 6-4 in yesterday’s second doubles semi-final, which was moved to Court 1.
The cross-strait pairing saved seven of eight break points and converted four of 10, winning 61 of the 106 points contested to complete the victory in 1 hour, 13 minutes.
BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
World No. 1 Serena Williams has withdrawn from this week’s Bank of the West Classic because of an elbow injury she says must get “back to 100 percent.”
Williams expressed her disappointment and said: “The tournament is one of my favorites, and the fans have always been so generous and supportive of me.”
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