Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei claimed her 18th career WT Tour doubles title and her first since 2014 at the Hungarian Ladies Open in Budapest yesterday.
Fourth seeds Hsieh and Oksana Kalashnikova defeated Arina Rodionova of Australia and Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-3, 4-6, 10-4 in 1 hour, 21 minutes.
The Taiwanese-Georgian duo saved six of 10 break points and converted five of 10, winning 66 of the 124 points contested to claim their first title as a doubles pairing.
It was Hsieh’s first title since winning the French Open with Peng Shuai of China in 2014, the second Grand Slam doubles title of her career after the duo won Wimbledon the previous year.
It was Kalashnikova’s fourth career title and her first since claiming the crown in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, with Yaroslava Shvedova last year.
AP, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates
Elina Svitolina of Ukraine is set to debut in the top 10 today after winning her second title of the season at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Saturday.
Svitolina dominated Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-2 in a final that started two hours late because of multiple rain showers.
“It’s big relief, because I knew that if I win this match, I’m gonna be top 10,” Svitolina said. “There was extra pressure [and] when I was warming up, added even more pressure because they announced it. It didn’t help.”
Svitolina earned her final berth by knocking out top seed Angelique Kerber in a three-set semi-final.
The Dubai tournament is the most prestigious title of the six that Svitolina has won. The previous five were lower-level WTA Tour events, including the Taiwan Open earlier this month. She is on a 12-match winning streak.
Svitolina has won both times she has played against Wozniacki, although the first at the Miami Open last year was a much harder victory.
Both players were content to remain fastened to the baseline in Dubai, but Svitolina’s firepower set them apart.
“I kind of felt like I ran out of steam a little bit and she took advantage of that,” Wozniacki said.
“She stepped it up a little bit and that was kind of that. Obviously, it’s frustrating when you see what you want to do out there and you just can’t do it,” she said.
It was Wozniacki’s second consecutive final in as many weeks, but she also left without the winner’s trophy from Doha last week. She was now 25-19 in career finals.
“I can take a lot of positives with me from this week,” Wozniacki said. “I’m hoping for a good season.”
In the doubles final, Russian second seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina survived multiple rain delays to edge sixth seeds Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic and Peng Shuai of China 6-2, 4-6, 10-7 in 2 hours, 10 minutes.
“Winning the trophy like here in Dubai, it’s very prestigious,” Vesnina told the WTA Tour Web site. “It’s the first time we played final here. We were just passing by the corridor and we saw the trophy. We were just really pleased with the result, because winning such a big title, it’s always giving us some confidence, some positive emotions.”
Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-ying on Saturday crashed out of the BWF All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham, with South Korea’s Se Young-an denying the world No. 3 Tai a chance at a fourth All England title. In a replay of their semi-final showdown last year, the world No. 2 Se again beat Tai, saving four match points in a thrilling deciding game to prevail 17-21, 21-19, 24-22. Tai won the women’s singles title in Birmingham in 2017, 2018 and 2020. In the three times the two superstars faced each other prior to Saturday, Tai, 22, had only come out on top once, when
California-born Lars Nootbaar had never played for Japan before the World Baseball Classic, but he has become so popular in his adopted country that sales of pepper mills have shot up in tribute to his trademark celebration. The 25-year-old outfielder — the first player born outside Japan to represent the country at the tournament — mimics twisting a pepper mill after each hit to show he wants to “grind out” a win for his team. The celebration has become a smash hit during Japan’s games in Tokyo, with Nootbaar’s teammates jumping on the bandwagon and fans bringing pepper grinders to the stadium. Nootbaar
LAST ONE STANDING: The world No. 3 was the only Taiwanese left in the tournament, while there were upsets in the men’s singles and the women’s doubles Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying on Thursday defeated Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan 21-19, 21-12 to reach the quarter-finals of the BWF All England Open in Birmingham. Tai, the world No. 3, needed only 40 minutes to close out the round-of-16 matchup at the Utilita Arena. In the opening game, the Taiwanese shuttler established an early 10-5 cushion, before an aggressive Ongbamrungphan fought her way back into the tie, winning nine straight points to take a 10-14 lead. The pair traded the lead to bring the scores to 18-19, but Tai held her nerve to close out the first game. After a 2-2 tie early in
When Taiwan lost to Cuba 7-1 at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) on Sunday, it was an opportunity missed. A win would have sent the team to the quarter-finals in Tokyo. Instead, the loss gave Taiwan a 2-2 record, the same as the other four teams in Pool A, but they finished last because of tiebreakers. So, was the team’s performance a success or a failure? The 2-2 record would suggest somewhere in between, but two baseball experts, National Taiwan Sport University (NTSU) associate professor Kung Jung-tang and veteran commentator Tseng Wen-cheng, gave Taiwan’s WBC performance a resounding thumbs-up. “The team’s offensive showing was