Friday, August 12, 2016

Martina Hingis & Timea Bacsinszky help Switzerland reach semis at Rio Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - World Co-No.1 Martina Hingis kept her hopes of a first Olympic medal alive as she and countrywoman Timea Bacsinszky blasted past No.3 seeds Chan Yung-Jan and Chan Hao-Ching, 6-3, 6-0 to reach the semifinals of the Olympic tennis event in women's doubles.

Bacsinszky bounced back from a disappointing first round defeat in singles to play just her second doubles tournament of 2016 alongside Hingis, the reigning US Open, WTA Finals and Australian Open champion.

Together, the pair have dropped just one set through their first three matches, and were particularly dominant against the Chans - a formidable pair who were the last team to defeat Hingis and then-partner Sania Mirza before the duo went on a 41-match winning streak - winning the second set in just 35 minutes.

After going down an early break to start, the No.5 seeds broke serve six straight times to book a semifinal encounter with either Russians Daria Kasatkina and Svetlana Kuznetsova or No.6 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic. Hlavackova and Hradecka captured the silver medal at the London Olympics, falling to three-time Olympic champions Venus and Serena Williams.

Hingis is playing her first Olympic tennis event since 1996, when she was 15 years old.

On the top half of the draw, Czechs Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova kept up their giant-killing run with a three-set win over former World No.1s Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. The Italians reunited for the Olympics, but fell in a tough 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 defeat to Safarova and Strycova, who began their tournament with a win over the Williams sisters.

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