The Chan sisters yesterday began their WTA Finals bid with a narrow defeat as they failed to maintain the momentum from a second-set rally and match fellow Taiwanese Hsieh Su-wei, who began with a hard-fought victory late on Sunday.
Fifth seeds Chan Hao-ching and Latisha Chan rallied from a set down, then saved two match points in the second set to force a super tiebreak against third seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France, but eventually fell to a 6-2, 5-7, 10-6 defeat in 1 hour, 39 minutes in their opening Red Group match.
The Taiwanese duo won only 48 percent of points on their first serve and just 33 percent on the second as their opponents converted six of 10 break points to take an early lead in the group at the season-ending tournament.
Second seeds Hsieh and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic had to weather a second-set comeback against Australian Open champions Samantha Stosur of Australia and Zhang Shuai of China in their Purple Group opener before completing a 6-4, 4-6, 10-5 victory in 1 hour, 28 minutes on Sunday night.
In a tight match, Hsieh and Strycova saved three of four break points and converted just one of five, but it was enough to record their second career victory over the seventh seeds after a quarter-final success on the clay in Madrid earlier this season.
“It’s always good to start with a win and it was a very tight match with both sets quite equal, but thankfully we are the winners and I thought our performance was very solid today. We are both extremely happy,” Hsieh told the WTA Web site.
The Taiwanese-Czech duo next face Czech sixth seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who had a more straightforward 6-4, 6-2 victory against fourth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Xu Yifan of China, despite the match not starting until almost midnight.
“I think we played really good, aggressive, and my partner helped me a bunch of times,” Siniakova said. “I think we’re pleased with this one.”
“It was really difficult playing this late, it’s never easy,” Krejcikova added.
China wants to unite its 1.4 billion people through soccer, while also using the sport as “a bridge to work with the rest of the world,” Chinese Football Association secretary-general Liu Yi told reporters in an interview published yesterday. Liu spoke about what lies behind the country’s push to become a major soccer power by 2050. Under Chinese President Xi Jinping — who is described by state media as an “avid soccer fan” — the world’s most populous country has grand plans to host and even one day win a World Cup. Liu spoke about “using football to motivate the whole nation.” “Football is
‘JOB NOT DONE’: The outfielder, who hit a homer and stole two bases, said that players ‘have to be good at all aspects of game all the time and not take plays off’ Los Angeles outfielder Mookie Betts put himself in rarefied company with a standout performance in the Dodgers’ Game 1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays in the 116th World Series on Tuesday. Betts sparked the Dodgers’ four-run fifth inning with a walk and two stolen bases, joining Babe Ruth as the only players in World Series history to record such an inning. After walking to lead off the inning, Betts stole second base. After Corey Seager walked, Betts reached third on a double steal, giving the Dodgers runners on second and third with one out. Betts took an aggressive stance off the bag
TENNIS Federer eyes Australia Roger Federer is practicing pain-free after undergoing two knee surgeries this year and said that he expects to return to the circuit at the Australian Open in January. The 39-year-old Swiss reached the semi-finals at Melbourne Park at the start of the year, but missed the rest of the season after undergoing a second arthroscopic procedure on his right knee. “I’m on the right track,” he told German-language magazine Schweizer Illustrierte. “I’m gradually coming back, but I’m going to take my time and don’t want to put any pressure on myself. I will only take part in a
Marcus Rashford once again sank Paris Saint-Germain after netting the decisive goal in a 2-1 Champions League win in the French capital. Rashford, who scored the winning spot-kick when United knocked PSG out two seasons ago, drilled home a low shot three minutes from the end, which won a thrilling Group H contest at a near-empty Parc des Princes. United had taken the lead in the 23rd minute when Bruno Fernandes slotted home from the spot at the second attempt, but Anthony Martial inexplicably headed Neymar’s corner into his own net 10 minutes after the break. The rest of the match was an