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Top-seeded Taiwanese falls at Australian Open

2018/01/23 13:14:59

Photo taken from Latisha Chan's Facebook page

Taipei, Jan. 23 (CNA) Top seeds Latisha Chan (詹詠然) of Taiwan and Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic have been ousted from the Australian Open women's doubles in a tight match that came down to a third-set tiebreaker.

The Taiwan-Czech duo fell to fifth seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (6) in a quarterfinal match that lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Aside from a letdown in the second set when it was out of reach, Babos and Mladenovic were the more aggressive team on the day when it mattered, banging out 29 winners to their opponents' 21, but the top seeds still had their opportunities.

Chan and Hlavackova appeared headed for victory after jumping out to a 4-1 lead in the decisive tiebreaker, but quickly found themselves down two match points at 6-4 after a double fault, an unforced error and three winners by their opponents.

They saved those two to even the score at 6-all, but Babos and Mladenovic won the next two points to take the match.

The top seeds also had an opportunity to prolong the first set but could not convert two break points when they were down 5-4.

Chan and Hlavackova were playing in only their third tournament together. The Taiwanese rose to the No. 1 ranking in doubles last year after partnering with Martina Hingis, one of the greatest women's doubles players of all-time.

The duo won a total of nine titles together, including the U.S. Open in September.

Perhaps ironically, they lost their final match together at the WTA Finals in Singapore to Babos and Hlavackova, who played together for the better part of 2017.

When Hingis retired, Chan teamed up with Hlavackova, and Babos joined with Mladenovic, and the Hungary-France duo had the last laugh on Tuesday.

They will play the winner of the match pitting eighth seeds Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) of Taiwan and Peng Shuai (彭帥) of China against fourth seeds Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic in the semifinals.
(By Luke Sabatier)