Chan & Xu: Seoul Springboard
Published September 24, 2013 12:02
SEOUL, South Korea - Teamed up at a WTA event for just the third time last week at the KDB Korea Open, Chan Chin-Wei and Xu Yi-Fan picked up their first WTA doubles title, in fact the first WTA title of any kind for both players.
And the Taiwanese-Chinese duo did so in impressive fashion, beating the No.2 seeds in the first round, the No.3 seeds in the semifinals and No.1 seeds and eight-time WTA titlists Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears in the final.
"They're good doubles players," Xu said of Kops-Jones and Spears. "They have big serves and they serve and volley, so we worked on our returns and using variety, like lobs. It was a really close match. Just a few points made the difference."
"There was no pressure on us," Chan said. "We just worked hard on what we wanted to do on the court. We have good communication and we fight. We don't think too much. I'm just really happy about the title.
"This is our first title. It's like magic."
Xu talked about the stiff competition in Seoul.
"We had been hoping to play better players, the top players, and we got to do so," Xu said. "We hope one day we will be the top players."
"It had a huge effect," Xu said. "She helped make tennis the most popular sport in China. That also helped change the rules for professional players in China in terms of the way you become a professional. Now we have more support."
This week at the WTA 125K Series event in Ningbo, Xu is paired up with another Taiwanese player, Hsieh Shu-Ying.