Second seeds Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan crashed out of the first round of the women’s doubles at the Miami Open on Saturday, while fellow Taiwanese Chuang Chia-jung fared no better in her opening match.
The Taiwanese sisters paid the price for only converting three of the 10 break points they created to fall to a 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 defeat to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, Florida, in 1 hour, 31 minutes.
It was the second straight tournament in which the second seeds failed to win their opening match after they lost to US duo Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Coco Vandeweghe at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, earlier this month.
Photo: Geoff Burke, USA Today
Makarova and Strycova converted four of the six break points they created, winning 68 of the 135 points contested to advance to a second-round clash with former world No. 1s Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and Peng Shuai of China.
That match against the cross-strait duo was scheduled for the early hours of this morning Taiwan time.
Chuang and Liang Chen of China fared no better as they fell to a 6-2, 6-3 first-round defeat to Russian pairing Daria Kasatkina and Elena Vesnina in 69 minutes.
The cross-strait duo converted just one of six break points, while the Russians converted five of 10 to advance to a second-round clash with third seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic.
In the men’s singles, Rafael Nadal slumped in a changeover chair, the blood pressure gauge strapped to his mighty left arm serving as a scoreboard. He was on the verge of defeat and a few points later he retired from a match for the first time in six years.
Nadal faded in the subtropical heat and conceded after falling behind in the third set of his opening match against Damir Dzumhur.
The fifth seed trailed 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 when he called it quits after losing a point to fall behind 30-15. He had earlier consulted with a trainer between games three times and had his blood pressure checked.
Nadal said he started feeling ill at the end of the first set.
“It was getting worse and worse and worse,” the Spaniard said. “I get a little bit scared — too dizzy. I felt I was not safe, so I decided to go. I wanted to finish the match, but I seriously couldn’t.”
His departure left the draw without three of the five top seeds after fourth seed Stan Wawrinka lost to Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-3 and third seed Roger Federer withdrew on Friday because of a stomach virus.
In the night session, second seed Andy Murray won his opening match against Denis Istomin 6-3, 7-5.
In the women’s singles, eight-time champion Serena Williams avoided the upset bug and seemed unfazed by the weather.
The South Floridian earned her 20th consecutive victory at Key Biscayne and reached the fourth round by beating Zarina Diyas 7-5, 6-3.
“I live down the street and I’m used to these conditions,” Williams said. “Even though it was a little humid, I’m used to it and I love this weather.”
Nadal’s match lasted less than two hours, but the temperature approached 32?C and was even higher on the sun-baked hard ourt.
Nadal said he felt fine before the match and was not sure whether he was contracting an illness.
“Hopefully, it’s just the extreme conditions,” he said. “It’s tough for me, because I felt I was playing well. It’s a hard accident. That’s life.”
Nadal later pulled out of the men’s doubles competition.
The 14-time Grand Slam champion has not won a tournament since August last year, but it had been 443 matches since he retired — in the 2010 Australian Open quarter-finals against Murray.
Key Biscayne remains one of the biggest tournaments Nadal has never won. He is 0-4 in finals.
Dzumhur is a 23-year-old Bosnian who was a child actor before he decided to focus on tennis. Ranked 94th, he rallied with a variety of tactics, including half a dozen drop-shots for winners, and an occasional serve-and-volley.
Nadal had to work hard from the start, failing to convert nine break points during a marathon second game before Dzumhur double-faulted to lose serve.
The heat also bothered Dzumhur, who consulted with a trainer following the first set.
“It was really tough to play,” he said. “I felt really tired and heavy, and in some moments dizzy.”
Thomaz Bellucci, the 30th seed, retired from his match after two sets because of dehydration, while 13th seed John Isner double-faulted on his final two service points and lost to qualifier Tim Smyczek 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 (7/5).
In the women’s singles, eighth seed Petra Kvitova lost to 30th seed Makarova 6-4, 6-4, while third seed Agnieszka Radwanska, the 2012 champion, eliminated Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-2.
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