Hsieh Su-wei's magical Australian Open comes to an end

2018/01/24 14:58:06 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Image taken from Australian Open website/圖取自澳網官網 (ausopen.com)

Image taken from Australian Open website/圖取自澳網官網 (ausopen.com)

Taipei, Jan. 24 (CNA) Hsieh Su-wei's magical run at the Australian Open that saw her plow through a world No. 3, push a former Australian Open champion to the brink, and reignite a once lethal doubles partnership has come to a rather anti-climactic end.

The Taiwanese veteran and Peng Shuai of China were ousted from the women's doubles Wednesday, falling in the semifinals to fifth seeds Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-4, 6-2 in 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Babos and Mladenovic, who reached the semifinals by edging past top seeds Latisha Chan of Taiwan and Andrea Hlavackova in a third-set tiebreaker, hit 23 winners to their opponents' four, and served much better, getting 66 percent of their first serves in to only 51 percent for Hsieh and Peng.

Though clearly beaten, it wasn't as if Hsieh and Peng, seeded eighth in Melbourne, didn't have their chances.

After winning only seven points while quickly falling behind 4-1 in the first set, the Taiwan-China duo had a chance to pull a game back but squandered two break points.

Down 5-1, they won three straight games to pull within 5-4, saving two set points in the process, and had a break point to even the set at 5-5, but could not convert.

Hsieh and Peng also stumbled out of the gate in the second set to trail 4-0, failing again to convert break points in two of those games, and never recovered.

It was nevertheless a breakthrough tournament for the 32-year-old Hsieh. She reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament in singles for only the second time in her career, 10 years after achieving a similar milestone in Melbourne in 2008.

She also reached the women's doubles semifinals at the Australian Open for the first time and rekindled a partnership with Peng that was good enough to win Wimbledon in 2013 and the French Open in 2014 before the duo split up at the end of that year.

Whether the reunion was simply a union of convenience in Australia or one that will be sustained, and whether Hsieh can maintain the same high level in singles remain unclear.

But former Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber, who reached the singles semifinals after trouncing American Madison Keys on Wednesday, feels Hsieh has plenty more to give this year after being driven crazy by the Taiwanese's arsenal of quirky, unpredictable shots before prevailing in their fourth round tussle on Monday.

"For sure we will see a lot more from her in 2018," Kerber said.

(By Luke Sabatier)
enditem


Share on Facebook  Share on twitter  Share by email  Share on Google+
Top