Chinese fans have had plenty to cheer about at this week’s tournament, with lots of local stars performing well.
Xu Yifan continued that trend today, teaming with Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski to book a place in the women’s doubles final. The third-seeded combination excited fans with a 6-3 6-2 win against seventh seeds Lucie Hradecka and Ekaterina Makarova.
The Czech-Russian combination started well, breaking early to establish a 2-0 lead in the opening match at Diamond Court today. However, Xu and Dabrowski quickly took control and claimed the first set.
“Today our game style matched up well against theirs. We were making a lot of different strategic plays to try and make them uncomfortable – which I think worked well and got some errors out of them,” Dabrowski said.
Xu and Dabrowski conceded only 14 points in the second set – losing only four on serve.
“I think they felt the pressure that we were always doing something,” Dabrowski said. “It was a lot closer than the score shows, but I think we kept our focus really well.”
The Chinese-Canadian combination now face second seeds Andrea Sestini Hlavackova and Barbora Strycova in tomorrow’s final.
The all-Czech combination, who call themselves the ‘Angry Birds’, advanced with a 6-0 7-5 win against fourth seeds Elise Mertens of Belgium and Demi Schuurs from the Netherlands.
Sestini Hlavackova is the only former champion among the finalists. She won the tournament with China’s Peng Shuai in 2014 and was a finalist last year.
Xu is a two-time runner-up, having made consecutive finals in 2007 and 2008.
(By Yixuan Wang)