By Dave Carroll / Staff reporter
Taiwanese sisters Chan Hao-ching （詹皓晴） and Latisha Chan （詹詠然） yesterday claimed their first doubles title of the season at the Hobart International, while 20-year-old American Sofia Kenin cruised to her first-ever singles title.
The top-seeded Chan sisters had to rally in the super tiebreak after losing the second set to complete a 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 victory over fourth seeds Kirsten Flipkens and Joanna Larsson in 1 hour, 16 minutes.
The Taiwanese duo won 55 percent of points on their second serve, saved one of four break points and converted three of eight to edge the final, despite the Belgian-Swedish pairing firing down four aces.
It was the Chan sisters’ 15th WTA Tour doubles title and their first as a pairing since the Hong Kong Open in October 2017.
It was also Latisha Chan’s first title since returning from a four-month break due to a disorder of the autonomic nervous system.
The victory sees the Chan sisters head to Melbourne for the first Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open, in good form.
In the singles, world No. 56 Kenin eased to a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in 1 hour, 11 minutes.
The American saved eight of nine break points and converted six of nine, winning 63 of the 102 points contested to claim her maiden WTA Tour title and improve her career record against Schmiedlova to 2-0 following a victory in New Haven, Connecticut, last year.
“I’m so happy to have gotten this title,” the American said after the match. “It was my first year [here] and I’m looking forward to coming back here for many more years to come.”
It was Kenin’s second title of the year after she partnered with Eugenie Bouchard to the ASB Classic doubles title in Auckland, New Zealand, earlier this month.
The victory will see Kenin’s rise from world No. 56 to No. 37 ahead of the first Grand Slam of the season.
“I feel in great form and I’m really proud of myself,” she told the WTA Web site. “I’m so happy with my start and will try to keep the momentum going.”
It was Schmiedlova’s fifth WTA Tour singles final and only the second she has lost.
“It was really unexpected and I’m extremely happy that I could be in the final,” the Slovakian told the WTA Web site. “While today didn’t go as I hoped it would go, Sofia played really well.”
Chan Hao-Ching, left, and Latisha Chan of Taiwan embrace after defeating Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium and Johanna Larsson of Sweden in their Hobart International women’s doubles finals at the Domain Tennis Centre in Hobart, Australia, yesterday. Photo: EPA-EFE