Asia`s hope for maiden grand slam dashed at US Open

New York: Asia`s wait for a first grand slam singles winner goes on.

As Chan Yung-Jan, of Taiwan, walked off court having taken just one game off top seed Caroline Wozniacki on Saturday, the continent`s interest in this year`s final grand slam dwindled.

Asia`s failure to get a single player into the fourth round of either the men`s or women`s draw at Flushing Meadows is a disappointing outlay bearing in mind the promise shown of late by a growing hotbed of tennis talent.

Asia looked set to break its grand slam duck at January`s Australian Open when Chinese duo Li Na and Zheng Jie reached the semi-finals.

But the rest of the 2010 proved disappointing with just three more quarter-finalists in the subsequent grand slams, Li and Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan at Wimbledon and Kazakhstan`s Yaroslava Shvedova at the French Open.

Asia`s longest-lasting player at the current U.S. Open, Chan Yung-Jan, is not overly concerned about the continent`s poor showing in New York.

"For our country it`s better for us - it`s the best result we`ve ever had," said the world number 77. "I know everyone`s out of the tournament from Asia but we are growing all the time and Asian tennis is getting better."

In all, there are six men in the world`s top 100 but the continent`s male contingent boast just one grand slam quarter-final spot in the last 15 years courtesy of Lu in London in July.

A first Asian grand slam winner looks far likelier to come from the current crop of women, who boast nine players in the top 100, including the 21-year-old Chan.

"You never know who`s going to make the breakthrough and when," she said. "For the moment, everybody is working hard and you never know what`s going to happen next but, if we keep doing things right, then we`re going to do it."

Bureau Report


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