Doubles trouble leaves HK with only singles hope

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 June, 2006, 12:00am

Hong Kong failed to repeat their winning ways on the Pro Tour circuit as only Tie Yana managed to book a place in the women's singles semi-finals at the Taiwan Open yesterday.

The SAR team captured three out of four titles at last week's Korea Open, but both doubles teams were unable to repeat the success.

Tie, ranked sixth in the world, easily beat Wu Jiaduo of Germany 4-1 in last night's quarter-finals.

Following her 11-8, 5-11, 11-5, 11-3, 11-5 victory, Tie will now meet Liu Jia of Austria today for a place in the final.

Liu defeated former Hong Kong player Kwok Fong-fong, now playing for South Korea, 4-3.

In another quarter-final match, Wang Yuegu of Singapore upset tournament top seed Li Jiawei, also from Singapore, to reach the last four with a 4-3 win. Wang will take on Shen Yanfei of Spain in the semi-finals.

Tie, however, had trouble in the doubles as she and Zhang Rui squandered a 3-0 lead over Ai Fujinuma and Ai Fukuhara of Japan and bowed out of the tournament in the last-eight stage.

'I think they were more positive than us today,' said Tie after their heart-breaking 4-3 defeat. 'They were more aggressive, especially in the last four games.'

Fukuhara said they made fewer mistakes after losing the opening three games. 'In the remaining games we made sure our top-spin play was good and served a little longer so that we got long returns and could attack,' said the 17-year-old, who plays for the Guangdong team in the China Super League.

The Japanese pair finally won 7-11, 9-11, 8-11, 11-3, 12-10, 11-4, 11-4.

In the men's doubles, Leung Chu-yan and Cheung Yuk were beaten by South Koreans Kim Jung-hoon and Oh Sang-eun.

The Hong Kong duo, who claimed the doubles title at the Korea Open a week earlier, failed to repeat their success as they were narrowly defeated 4-3 in the quarter-finals.

Kim also beat Cheung in the later singles quarters, thrashing the Hong Kong player 4-0.