The Chan sisters got off to a flying start in the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the China Open yesterday, but fell to defeat when the top seeds dug deep and fought back to clinch a 0-6, 6-1, 10-6 victory.
Taiwanese third seeds Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan looked to be racing to today’s final when they took the first set to love, but French pairing Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic battled back to win the second 6-1, before completing the victory in the super tiebreak in a match that lasted exactly an hour.
The Chan sisters saved both break points they faced in the first set and converted three of six, but the roles were reversed in the second, when the French duo saved both break points they faced and converted two of three.
Garcia and Mladenovic, top of the WTA Tour’s Road to Singapore doubles standings, won 47 of the 89 points contested to improve their record over the Taiwanese sisters to 2-0 following their victory in the semi-finals in Sydney in January.
The Taiwanese sisters are seventh in the Road to Singapore standings, with the top eight pairings qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals.
In the singles, Johanna Konta became the first British woman in a generation to break into the top 10 as she booked her spot in today’s final.
The Briton put in a solid performance to advance to the biggest final of her career, beating eighth-ranked Madison Keys 7-6 (7/1), 4-6, 6-4.
After a tight first set, Keys’ serve let her down in the tiebreaker, but she rallied in the second despite continued pressure from the Briton.
After demanding seven set points from her US opponent for the second set, Konta stepped up her game in the third, keeping Keys on the defensive to take her a step closer to her second season — and career — title.
“I don’t think she made a lot of unforced errors or gave me a lot of balls to be able to get on the offense,” Keys told reporters after the match.
Konta faces world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska, who defeated Elina Svitolina 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 in their semi-final.
On the men’s side, world No. 2 Andy Murray beat Spaniard David Ferrer 6-2, 6-3 for a place in the finals, where he faces Grigor Dimitrov, who advanced after Milos Raonic could not start their semi due to an ankle injury.
Sixth seed Nick Kyrgios battered Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4, while David Goffin outlasted Marin Cilic 7-5, 6-4 yesterday to advance to the Japan Open final in Tokyo.
Australian Kyrgios overpowered the French second seed in 1 hour, 30 minutes, while Belgian Goffin, who is to play his first ATP final of the season today, trailed 5-3 in the opening set, but broke back and won the next four games against Croatian Cilic.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
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