Taiwanese hopes were ended at the US Open on Wednesday when Chan Yung-jan crashed out in the semi-finals of the mixed doubles, losing to a familiar foe.
Second seeds Chan and Rohan Bopanna of India fell to a 6-2, 7-5 defeat to fourth seeds Martina Hingis and Leander Paes of India in just over an hour a day after Chan’s bid for women’s doubles glory had also been ended by the Swiss former world No. 1.
Hingis and Paes saved one of two break points and converted four of eight, winning 61 of the 106 points contested on Court 17 to advance to a final against unseeded the US duo of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sam Querrey, who ousted Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic and Lukasz Kubot of Poland 6-4, 6-3.
In the singles, Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka shrugged off the threat of rain to storm into the semi-finals, while Simona Halep stood up for the younger generation to complete a women’s final four that features three thirtysomethings.
Moved from the Arthur Ashe Stadium court to Louis Armstrong to bring Federer’s match forward, Wawrinka appeared untroubled by the change of venue, needing just 1 hour, 47 minutes to repel big-hitting South African Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4, 6-0.
Second seed Federer turned in an equally economical effort, brushing aside Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in a tidy 87 minutes to set up an all-Swiss semi-final today.
The other side of the draw features a battle of the big men, with top seed Novak Djokovic taking on defending champion Marin Cilic.
“Emotionally it’s not so hard for me, but subconsciously, you know he knows what your preferences are, where you like to go and where you’re probably going to go,” said Federer, who holds a commanding 16-3 advantage over his Davis Cup teammate and reigning French Open champion.
“That’s the weird part. I feel we meet each other somewhere in our minds before the point is being played out,” he said.
Federer and Gasquet are both armed with elegant one-handed backhands, but apart from that aesthetically pleasing stroke, there were very few similarities in their lopsided contest.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner could hardly miss and Gasquet all too often played the role of innocent bystander as the Swiss maestro uncorked 50 winners to a mere eight from the 12th-seeded Frenchman.
Anderson lacked the energy he displayed in a fourth-round upset of third seed Andy Murray, allowing Wawrinka to dictate play for large stretches of the match.
The South African, who leans heavily on his serve, could manage just nine aces and one break point the entire match, which he was unable to convert.
“I’ve improved a lot over the past three years and feel much closer to his level now,” Wawrinka said of Federer.
“He is playing really well here, so I will need to be at my best,” he said. “He’s had some amazing matches and I know it will be a big challenge but I think I’m ready.”
Halep moved closer to a first Grand Slam singles title after edging Victoria Azarenka 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 to set up a meeting with Flavia Pennetta, who toppled Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to join compatriot Roberta Vinci in the last four.
Defying the odds, rankings and age, 33-year-old Pennetta and 32-year-old Vinci etched their names in history by becoming the first two Italian women to reach the semi-finals of the same Grand Slam in the Open Era.
With 33-year-old Serena Williams also in the last four, 23-year-old Halep will be conceding almost a decade of experience to her remaining challengers.
“Of course we are a little bit old for the age of tennis right now, but we are here and still fighting,” Pennetta said.
However, the dream of an all-Italian final will require some special magic, particularly from Vinci, who has the daunting task of facing three-time defending US Open champion and world No. 1 Williams.
The sight of Japanese fans at a World Cup bagging trash after a match — win or lose — always surprises non-Japanese. Japanese players are famous for doing the same in their team dressing room: hanging up towels, cleaning the floor and even leaving a thank-you note. The behavior is driving social media posts at the World Cup in Qatar, but it is nothing unusual for Japanese fans or players. They are simply doing what most people in Japan do — at home, at school, at work or on streets from Tokyo to Osaka, Shizuoka to Sapporo. “For Japanese people, this is
Portugal players idolize Cristiano Ronaldo, with many saying it is a “dream” to play with him, but young forward Goncalo Ramos on Saturday joked that he would not accept a piece of chewing gum from his compatriot. Ronaldo, who scored a penalty in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana on Thursday, was pictured chewing gum he had pulled out of the front of his shorts during the game. The 37-year-old striker, without a club after an acrimonious split from Manchester United this week, became the first player ever to score at five World Cups. “Of course not,” laughed Ramos at a news conference, when
Normally, it would be horrible news to soccer fans anywhere that their team’s star player was injured. Yet even as they endured an anguished wait for a Neymar-less Brazil to score in their 1-0 win over Switzerland on Monday, some Brazilians found it hard to miss the injured superstar, who has promised to dedicate his first FIFA World Cup goal to far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Watching the match in a packed bar in central Rio de Janeiro, where fans decked out in yellow and green waited nervously for what turned out to be the lone goal — scored in the 83rd
Qatar’s top World Cup official on Tuesday said that more than 400 migrant workers died in labor accidents in the country in the years leading up to the tournament. Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary general of Qatari Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, gave the figure of 400 to 500 in a British television interview when asked how many workers had died “doing work for the World Cup.” The organizing committee said his response referred to “national statistics covering the period of 2014-2020 for all work-related fatalities” in Qatar “covering all sectors and nationalities.” It said there were 414 worker deaths over the eight-year period. Migrant