Taipei, Oct. 30 (CNA) Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) and playing partner Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic reached the semifinals of year-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen, China on Tuesday night while the Chan sisters' hopes for a semifinal berth hangs in the balance.
The doubles tournament at the WTA Finals splits eight doubles teams into two groups of four, with the top two finishers in round-robin play qualifying for the semifinals.
Having already won one match in round-robin play Sunday, Hsieh and Strycova outlasted Czechs Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, winners of two Grand Slam titles in 2018, in a super tiebreaker 6-2, 1-6, 1-0 (10-5) in 75 minutes.
The 2019 Wimbledon champions had lost the momentum after being overwhelmed in the second set, but three smashes by Strycova early in the super tiebreaker staked them to a 3-1 lead, and they maintained that edge to claim victory.
"It was a really tough match for us, but we played really good," Strycova was quoted as saying on the WTA website. "We helped each other, and at the end we were maybe, I would not say lucky, but we played a better tiebreak."
The Czechs had also won their first match in round-robin play so a defeat would have put Hsieh and Strycova in a precarious position.
Instead, as the only team in their group with a 2-0 record, the Taiwan-Czech duo qualified for the semifinals with one round-robin match left against the 0-2 team of Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Xu Yifan of China.
The second team to qualify from the group will be the winner of the match between the Czechs and Samantha Stosur of Australia and Zhang Shuai of China, who were topped by Hsieh and Strycova on Sunday in a super tiebreaker.
Strycova is currently the world's top-ranked women's doubles player while Hsieh is ranked fourth.
Taiwan's Latisha Chan (詹詠然) and Chan Hao-ching (詹皓晴) are in the other group and lost their first match in round-robin play to 2019 French Open champions Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic 6-2, 5-7, 1-0 (10-6) on Monday.
They play Elise Mertens of Belgium and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus later Wednesday in a match they need to win if they hope to reach the semifinals.
Just making the semifinals in the WTA Finals doubles can earn a team between US$215,000 and US$315,000. The winning doubles team will earn between US$900,000 and US$1 million, depending on how many round-robin matches it won.