The Hsieh sisters yesterday stunned the top seeds in the quarter-finals of the doubles at the Pan Pacific Open, while fellow Taiwanese the Chan sisters survived a scare to book their place in today’s semi-finals in Osaka, Japan.
Unseeded Hsieh Su-wei and Hsieh Yu-chieh were the underdogs in their quarter-final, but managed to pull off a shock 6-3, 7-5 victory over Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands in 1 hour, 7 minutes.
The Taiwanese duo saved four of eight break points and converted six of 11, winning 63 percent of the points on their opponents’ first serve to advance to the semi-finals.
The Hsieh sisters next face Nadiia Kichenok of Ukraine and Abigail Spears of the US, who rallied from a set down to defeat Japanese duo Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya 2-6, 6-1, 13-11 in 1 hour, 20 minutes.
Second seeds Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan also needed a super tiebreak to advance, 6-2, 4-6, 10-8 against Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Caroline Garcia of France in 1 hour, 18 minutes.
The Taiwanese sisters saved five of eight break points and converted four of nine as they mixed two aces with two double faults to set up a semi-final against Misaki Doi and Nao Hibino, who won an all-Japanese clash against Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour, 12 minutes.
In the second round of the singles, Italy’s Camila Giorgi also pulled off a shock, ousting American third seed Sloane Stephens 6-0, 6-3.
“It was a good match for sure and I was able to play my game, show off my attacking style and be consistent,” Giorgi told the WTA Web site.
“When I play I always focus on myself. I only made a few mistakes. That’s always been my way, ever since I was little, to attack, to go forward, to put the pressure on. This surface suits my game, too,” she added.
Also crashing out in the second round were Dutch second seed Kiki Bertens and Croatian seventh seed Donna Vekic.
Bertens fell to a 6-1, 7-5 defeat to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, while Vekic was beaten 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 by Japanese wild-card Doi.
Yulia Putintseva cruised into the quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Russian qualifier Varvara Flink.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
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