Chan Hao-ching and Chan Yung-jan got their 2016 Roland Garros quest underway on Thursday with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Ukrainian pair Kateryna Bondarenko and Olga Savchuk.
The Taiwanese sister act have been touted to go far in the tournament and are up against Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith next in the second-round.
Before the competition got under way, they were asked how well they knew each other. Which got us thinking: what do we know about Asia’s answer to Venus and Serena?
They are history-makers
When they qualified for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore, they became only the third sister pairing ever to qualify for the WTA Finals. The first was when Manuela and Katerina Maleeva played in the 1986 Pan Pacific Open. The other pairing, well take a wild guess… Yes, of course it was the Williams sisters over a decade later at the Zurich Open.
After Venus and Serena, they are the second most-successful sister pairing in WTA history. They have four women’s doubles titles to their names; the Shenzhen Open (2013), Aegon International Eastbourne (2013), Pattaya Open (2015), Cincinnati Masters (2015) and the Qatar Total Open (2016).
They both are by no means late bloomers to the game. Older sister Yung-jan picked up a racquet at the age of six. By the time she was 11, she had reached number two in the singles junior rankings and in 2004 won the Junior Australian Open Women’s Doubles with Sun Sheng-nan. Little sister (by four years) Hao-ching, not wanting to be outdone, started at three!
They’re both pretty dab hands in mixed doubles as well. Hao-ching reached the 2014 Wimbledon final with long-time tennis partner Max Mirnyi, while Yung-jan is currently partnering two-time Grand Slam winner Jamie Murray.
A high hurdle
Going into this year’s Roland Garros as No. 3 seeds, the sisters have been in sensational form over the past year. Should they make it to the semi-finals, they’re likely opponents will be reigning Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open champions Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis. With just Roland Garros missing from the much-coveted Non-Calendar Year Grand Slam, the Chans will have to bring their A-game to Paris.
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