Taiwan’s Chan sisters advanced to the semi-finals of doubles at the Qatar Open on Thursday, while Russian duo Daria Kasatkina and Elena Vesnina pulled off the shock of the tournament.
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Fourth seeds Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan defeated sixth seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Julia Goerges of Germany 6-1, 7-6 (8/6) in the quarter-finals at the International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha in 1 hour, 22 minutes.
The Taiwanese sisters saved four of seven break points and converted five of 12, winning 71 of the 127 points contested.
“Onto the semis tonight. Was so windy today, not easy to play a doubles match in such conditions, happy that we made it,” elder sister Chan Yung-jan, who has been suffering flu-like symptoms this week, wrote on Facebook.
Awaiting the Taiwanese duo in yesterday’s semi-finals were unseeded Kasatkina and Vesnina, who pulled off the shock of the week by ending the 41-match winning streak of top seeds Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Sania Mirza of India.
The Russian duo defeated the world No. 1 pairing 2-6, 6-4, 10-5 in 1 hour, 17 minutes to avenge their defeat in the quarter-finals in St Petersburg, Russia, earlier this month.
“It’s unbelievable for me, something huge because it’s just my third WTA doubles tournament and we beat Sania and Martina. For me, it’s something unbelievable,” Kasatkina told the WTA Web site.
The defeat ended the Swiss-Indian duo’s bid to claim the Qatar Open title and tie Jana Novotna’s and Natasha Zvereva’s 44-match winning streak, the longest since 1990.
The winning run began at last year’s US Open, the first of nine straight doubles titles, including the China Open, the WTA Finals in Singapore, the Apia International Sydney and a third Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last month.
The top seeds last defeat before their winning streak was to the Chan sisters in the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio, in August last year.
“We were surprised that so many people came to watch,” Vesnina told the WTA Web site. “The court was packed, most of the people were cheering for Martina and Sania, which is normal. It actually worked well for us, we were enjoying this atmosphere on the court. It felt like we were playing a final.”
In yesterday’s other semi-final, Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez of Spain were due to take on Sara Errani of Italy and Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain.
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