Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis of Switzerland on Tuesday advanced to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.
The sixth seeds defeated fourth seeds Sania Mirza of India, Hingis’ former partner, and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter-finals in 1 hour, 20 minutes.
Chan and Hingis saved five of 10 break points and converted seven of 14, winning 61 of the 118 points contested to advance to a semi-final against either top seeds and Australian Open champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic or unseeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia and Kristina Mladenovic of France.
They were due to play their quarter-final yesterday.
“It’s great,” former world No. 1 Hingis told the WTA Web site. “It’s only our third tournament together and I feel like we’re getting better with each match. The confidence and trust between us is growing, and I think that’s the most important thing to win matches today and in the future. We’re going in the right direction.”
“Definitely today’s match wasn’t easy,” Chan said. “Those two players are great and they’re top players. We kept staying strong and staying together. Even though we’re a new team, we were able to make everything work. I think it’s been pretty good so far. We’re looking forward to our upcoming matches.”
Photo: Screengrab from Facebook
Chan had previously been playing on the WTA Tour with younger sister Chan Hao-ching. They were the last duo to beat Hingis and Mirza before they went on a 41-match unbeaten streak from 2015 through last year.
“We know each other from playing against each other, like every single week,” Chan Yung-jan told the WTA Web site. “We’ve been practicing and spending a lot of time together, on court and off, using WhatsApp. I think it’s working.”
In women’s singles, Angelique Kerber will not celebrate her return to world No. 1 with an Indian Wells title after a shock fourth-round exit at the hands of Elena Vesnina.
Russia’s 14th-seeded Vesnina toppled the second-seeded German 6-3, 6-3 to book a quarter-final clash with seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams.
Williams battled back from a break down in the final set to beat Chinese qualifier Peng Shuai 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Eighth-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova sped past Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-4 to lead the way into the quarters.
Kuznetsova is in the last eight in the California desert for the first time since reaching back-to-back finals in 2007 and 2008.
She is to face compatriot Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who toppled fifth-seeded Slovak Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2.
Third-seeded Czech Karolina Pliskova booked her quarter-final berth, leading Timea Bacsinszky 5-1 when the Swiss player retired with a left wrist injury.
Pliskova next faces seventh-seeded French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, who downed 10th-seeded Ukrainian Elina Svitolina 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 6-0.
In men’s singles, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer booked a mouthwatering fourth-round clash, while five-time champion Novak Djokovic also advanced from the “group of death.”
With the three men’s singles superstars drawn in the same quarter, only one — at most — can make it to the semi-finals.
Three-time Indian Wells champion Nadal was the first through, defeating fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-5.
Federer edged American Steve Johnson 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4) in a match in which neither player was able to break.
Djokovic made it past dangerous Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, who last year shocked the Serb star in the first round of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics en route to singles silver.
Djokovic is scheduled to face 21-year-old Australian Nick Kyrgios, who defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4.
With the loaded bottom quarter the focus of attention, fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan quietly advanced to the fourth round with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.
Nishikori booked a date with unseeded American Donald Young, who ousted 14th-seeded Lucas Pouille of France 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
American Jack Sock saved four match points in a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) win over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
Sock, winner of ATP titles in Auckland and Delray Beach this year, next faces Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 winner over 19-year-old American Taylor Fritz.
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