Reigning champions the Chan sisters yesterday cruised into the semi-finals of the doubles at the Taiwan Open, while the upsets continued in the singles as Peng Shuai defeated second seed Samantha Stosur and wild-card Lucie Safarova ousted sixth seed Misaki Doi.
Taiwanese top seeds Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan took just 58 minutes to see off Danka Kovinic of Montenegro and Magda Linette of Poland 6-1, 6-4.
The sisters, looking to retain the title they won in Kaohsiung last year, had their serve broken only once at 4-3 in the second set, but they broke straight back, one of the four out of six break points they converted.
Photo: Chen Chi-chu
“We made preparations for the match by watching them play the other day, so we developed a strategy against them,” Chan Yung-jan said. “In today’s match, we aimed to get the ball to areas where they could not play their favored return shots and at angles difficult for them to reach, forcing mistakes. We are pleased with how the match turned out, it was much better than our last outing earlier this week and one of our best recent performances.”
“Yes, our strategy worked quite well today and in the second set they changed their positioning, so we also made adjustments to our game,” Chan Hao-ching said. “It was a satisfying win.”
In the semi-finals, the top seeds face Chinese duo Liu Chang and Zheng Saisai, who ousted fourth-seeded Japanese pairing Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato 6-2, 7-5 in 1 hour, 19 minutes.
In the quarter-finals of the singles, Chinese world No. 71 Peng stunned world No. 23 Stosur 6-4, 6-4 in 1 hour, 39 minutes.
Peng fired six aces, saved nine of 11 break points and converted four of seven to finally record a victory against the Australian at the seventh time of asking on her fourth match point.
“It feels really great to get this first win against Stosur,” Peng said with a big smile. “Actually, I don’t know how I beat her today.”
“Coming back from my surgery in 2015, [I] only returned last year, so it is a blessing just to be able to compete again,” she said. “It is important to persevere with your goals and getting this first win against her really means a lot to me.”
Peng faces world No. 55 Safarova in the semi-finals after the Czech ousted Japanese world No. 41 Doi 6-4, 7-6 (7/1) in 1 hour, 43 minutes in a rare meeting of two left-handers.
The 29-year-old former world No. 5 saved eight of 10 break points and converted three of nine to level her career record against Doi at 1-1 following a defeat on clay in Rome last year.
“It was a good match for me today, I got my serves in really well in the first set, then she broke my serve, but then [I] fought back in second set to hold my serve. Overall it was a nice result for me,” Safarova said.
“It is rare for two left-handed players to face each other... It’s the spin which is different than for right-handed players and I had to adjust through the games,” she added.
Today’s other semi-final sees top seed Elina Svitolina take on Mandy Minella.
Ukraine’s Svitolina survived a massive scare to overcome Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4) in 1 hour, 55 minutes, while Luxembourg’s Minella rallied from a set down to outlast Zhu Lin of China 1-6, 6-3, 7-5 in 2 hours, 11 minutes.
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