Singapore was in for a treat when the second-seeded team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova took on the third-seeded pair of Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-jan Chan. It was a devastating display of brilliance from the sisters from Taiwan winning in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, over the two-time Grand Slam champions of 2015 at the WTA Finals. The win put the sisters 2-0 in round-robin play in the White Group.
Chans Break Mattek-Sands Twice To Take First Set
Safarova opened up the match with a hold to love and in the next game, the points began to get exciting. With Yung-jan Chan serving at 15-all in the second game of the match, Mattek-Sands played a drop shot which the Yung-jan would get to and hit it right to Safarova. The Czech would then drill it right at her before her quick reflexes hit it to the feet of the American who would then hit to younger sister Hao-Ching. After a backhand, Safarova would hit into the net in what was an early contender for point of the day.
The Taiwanese sisters would break in the following game following a double fault from Mattek-Sands to give them a 2-1 lead. Serving up 3-2, the Chans once again showed off their skillful doubles game with some quick hands at the net from Hao-Ching which was followed by a lob by Yung-jan into the doubles alley with both of her opponents camped out by the net.
The Chan sisters went up a double break after Hao-Ching’s return caught the American by surprise. She was forced into a defensive lob which allowed Yung-jan to put away an overhead past Safarova for a second break. On set point, another mistake by the American, an overhit forehand, gave the sisters the opening set 6-2.
Another Fine Display For The Chans To Take The Match
The pressure was mounted on once again by the Chan sisters in the third game of the set. After a net cord, a fine display of volleying brilliance was displayed by all four women as Hao-Ching would finish the point off by hitting it right at Safarova to put them up 0-30. They led the game 0-40 but needed all three break opportunities before converting as the Mattek-Sands’ poor day continued as she hit a simple volley a mile long to give the Chan sisters their third break of serve in the match.
The team of Safarova and Mattek-Sands finally earned a chance to break in the following game but were unable to convert any. The day went from bad to terrible for Mattek-Sands because in the seventh game, her serve was broken once again. Hao-Ching hit a massive forehand return on the American’s serve which forced the American to go with a predictable cross-court backhand which was perfectly read by Yung-jan as she poached the short ball and put away the volley for a double break 5-2 lead.
Yung-jan would finish off the match with a volley winner placed right in between Mattek-Sands and Safarova as the sister duo moved to 2-0 in the group while the Czech-American pair moved to 1-1.
Both teams are very much still alive to advance. There is only one scenario in which the Chans to not advance and that is if Carla Suárez Navarro and Garbiñe Muguruza and Mattek-Sands and Safarova both win in straight sets. In this scenario, only the team of Caroline Garcia and Katarina Srebotnik would be eliminated, and who advances will be based off the win-loss percentage in games. Here are the other advancement scenarios for the pairs
Chans top the group if:
they win their match, regardless of other results OR
Suárez Navarro/Muguruza win in three and Mattek-Sands/Safarova win their match OR
their win-loss percentage in games puts them in first if Suárez Navarro/Muguruza win in straights and Mattek-Sands/Safarova win in straights as well
Chans advance if:
Suárez Navarro/Muguruza win in straights and Mattek-Sands/Safarova win in three OR
Suárez Navarro/Muguruza win in three and Garcia/Srebotnik win their match OR
their win-loss percentage in games puts them in second if Suárez Navarro/Muguruza win in straights and Mattek-Sands/Safarova win in straights as well
Mattek-Sands/Safarova top the group if:
their win-loss percentage in games puts them first if they win in straights and Suárez Navarro/Muguruza win in straights
Mattek-Sands/Safarova advance if:
they win their match and the Chan sisters win their match OR
Chan sisters win their match and their win-loss percentage in games puts them second if they lose to Garcia/Srebotnik in straights OR
Chan sisters win their match and Garcia/Srebotnik win in three OR
their win-loss percentage in games puts them second if they win in straights and Suárez Navarro/Muguruza win in straights OR
they win their match and Suárez Navarro/Muguruza win in three