The Chan sisters’ bid for back-to-back doubles titles in Tokyo ended in a 7-5, 6-1 defeat to Spanish duo Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro in the Toray Pan Pacific Open final yesterday.
Second seeds Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan, who lifted the Japan Open title the previous Saturday, converted two of five break points in the first set, but their third-seeded opponents converted three of seven to edge a tight opener.
The Taiwanese sisters then failed to create a single break point in the second set as the Spanish pairing wrapped up the victory in 1 hour, 13 minutes on Center Court at the Ariake Coliseum.
Muguruza and Suarez Navarro won 65 of the 113 points contested to claim the title and rise to eighth in the Road to Singapore rankings, while the Taiwanese duo are 10th.
“It was a good game, we played very well and that motivates us to continue to strive to be among the best eight couples. We still have tournaments in Wuhan and Beijing to come,” Muguruza said.
“We place great value on this title because last year we lost the final,” Suarez Navarro said. “We had the opportunity to score points and we did. Going to Singapore if we get eighth place is very exciting.”
In the semi-finals of the singles, rising Swiss star Belinda Bencic beat Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki to storm into the final, where she faces Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska.
Bencic defeated Wozniacki 6-2, 6-4, her fourth win in a row over the former world No. 1, to reach her fourth WTA final since June.
If the 18-year-old wins, she will break into the world’s top 10 rankings for the first time.
“It’s amazing to be in the final,” she said in her on-court interview. “Caroline’s a great player. If you give free points or aren’t focused enough, she comes back and plays great shots and great tennis, so I knew I had to be focused well from start to finish today. And I was playing some very good games on my serve — I tried to not let her break me.”
Wozniacki was the top seed for the event, but had no answer for Bencic, who won her first WTA title at Eastbourne in June then followed up by winning the Canadian Open last month.
“I want to try to win the title now, but I’ve reached a better result than I ever thought,” Bencic said. “So I really want to enjoy the final.”
Radwanska, chasing her first WTA title in more than a year, joined Bencic in the final with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Slovakia’s Dominika Cibulkova, who upset Ana Ivanovic to reach the semis, but ran out of steam.
Cilbulkova made a strong start, racing to a 4-2 lead, but Radwanska then reeled off 10 of the next 11 games to clinch a straight-sets victory.
“I’m just so happy to be in the final here for the third time,” said Radwanska, who won the Pan Pacific Open in 2011 and was second in 2012. “I think this is the only tournament I’ve been to the final of three times, so it’s a special place for me.”
AP, GUANGZHOU, China
Jelena Jankovic of Serbia continued her strong form in China, beating Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-0 to win the Guangzhou International title yesterday.
Jankovic has yet to lose a match in China this season, having won a lower-tier WTA series event in Nanchang. She dominated against Allertova, converting all three of her break points in the first set and saving all three she faced in the second.
Allertova was playing in her first WTA final after beating top-seeded Simona Halep of Romania in straight sets in the quarterfinals and No. 3 Sara Errani of Italy in the semi-finals.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich’s dream run at the Korean Open continued as she beat second-seeded Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the semi-finals yesterday.
Sasnovich dropped her first set of the tournament in the opening frame, but recovered to book her place in today’s final against top seeded Irina-Camelia Begu.
Romanian Begu showed her class with a clinical 6-0, 6-2 win over Belgian eighth seed Alison Van Uytvanck.
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