Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei yesterday cruised into the second round of the women’s singles at the Australian Open, while Ivo Karlovic became the oldest man to win a match at the tournament in more than 40 years.
Hsieh, the 28th seed, took just 58 minutes to see off the challenge of Switzerland’s Stefanie Voegele 6-2, 6-1.
The Taiwanese No. 1 won 76 percent of points on her first serve compared with just 40 percent for her opponent.
Hsieh saved six of eight break points and converted six of eight, hit 27 winners and won 62 of the 98 points contested to advance to a second-round match against world No. 110 Laura Siegemund of Germany, who rallied from a set down to defeat Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-7 (5/7), 6-4, 6-2.
Bashing 39 aces to match his age, Karlovic felled Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz, a man 18 years his junior, to reach the second round of the men’s singles.
On a sweltering day at Melbourne Park, the towering Croat’s 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5) win on Court 19 made him the oldest victor at the tournament since Australian icon Ken Rosewall reached the third round of the 1978 tournament at the age of 44.
The world No. 73 also became the oldest winner at any Grand Slam since a 40-year-old Jimmy Connors beat Jaime Oncins to reach the second round of the 1992 US Open.
Karlovic, whose birthday falls on Feb. 28, will be officially middle-aged next month, but said he had no intention of winding down while still fit enough to compete.
“I think I’m healthy so hopefully there will be no injuries,” Karlovic said. “As long as my ranking is up and I get in to all these tournaments, I don’t see any reason I should stop.”
The oldest man in the men’s singles ahead of 37-year-old double defending champion Roger Federer, Karlovic advanced a day after 31-year-old Andy Murray played possibly his final match at Melbourne Park.
The British former world No. 1 has been suffering severe pain in his right hip and said before the tournament that he might have to retire.
Where Murray’s, scrambling, defensive all-court game has undoubtedly taken its toll, Karlovic’s longevity might be explained in part by his commitment to the now rarely seen art of serve-volley.
Boasting a monster serve and an arm-span that can seem as wide as the court, the Croat keeps points short and sharp.
The style can be picked apart by good passers and the power of modern baseline pounders, but it has served Karlovic well in a very respectable career of eight titles.
No rally against Hurkacz exceeded four points and the silver-haired Karlovic sealed the match when the Pole sent an attempted passing shot into the tramlines.
He raised his arms into the air in triumph as a rowdy smattering of Croatian fans chanted: “Ivo.”
Why would he want to leave all this, he asked.
“This range of emotions from winning to losing, it’s, I don’t know, it’s different,” he said.
Erik ten Hag’s first competitive game as manager tomorrow should herald a fresh start for Manchester Untied, but familiar failings behind the scenes have made the Dutchman’s difficult job an almost impossible one. Ten Hag’s predecessor Ralf Rangnick signed off from his miserable caretaker spell last season by stating that the United squad needed “open heart surgery” and up to 10 new players after laboring to a sixth-placed finish in the English Premier League. So far, only three new faces have arrived at Old Trafford — Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen. The United squad is arguably weaker than last season, with
RUSTY: Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams lost the first singles match she has played since losing to Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei 49 weeks ago in Chicago Taiwan’s Tseng Chun-hsin on Monday defeated Nick Chappell of the US 6-4, 6-4 at the Los Cabos Open in Mexico, his third victory on the ATP Tour this season. The 20-year-old won 84 percent of points on his first serve and did not face a break point to advance after 1 hour, 31 minutes. The Taiwanese, who earlier this season lifted ATP Challenger Tour trophies in Bengaluru, India, and Murcia, Spain, before he made his debut at the French Open, next faces reigning champion Cameron Norris of Britain. In Washington, three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray of Britain crashed out in the opening
Taiwanese infielder Chang Yu on Saturday made his major league pitching debut when he was pulled off third base in the bottom of the eighth to preserve the Tampa Bay Rays’ bullpen in their 9-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Chang’s chance to take the mound came as the Tigers’ scoring was already out of hand for the Rays. Detroit mounted a rare offensive outburst, leading Rays manager Kevin Cash to preserve his pitchers by allowing Chang to throw an inning. He retired Willi Castro on what the scoreboard called a 40mph curveball, but Detroit’s Jonathan Schoop hit the next pitch for
Australia’s Donna Lobban said she and her Scottish husband Greg Lobban would not be signing “divorce papers” after she beat him in mixed doubles squash competition at the Commonwealth Games on Friday. Donna Lobban and her partner, Cameron Pilley, came back from a game down to win 9-11, 11-8, 11-8 and reach the semi-finals in Birmingham, England. The defending champion, 35, said she was braced for her husband’s reaction. “I might have to put up with him being in a terrible mood for a while, but if I had lost it would have been him putting up with me being in a