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Taiwanese player stuns ex-No. 1 to reach Dubai tennis quarterfinals

2019/02/21 13:38:34

Hsieh Su-wei (Image taken from the WTA's Twitter account)

Taipei, Feb. 21 (CNA) Unseeded Taiwanese tennis veteran Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) soared through to the quarter-finals of the women's singles at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Wednesday, defeating former World No. 1 Angelique Kerber of Germany for the first time in her career in the last 16.

Despite losing the opening set to Kerber 5-7, the 33-year-old Hsieh managed to secure a hard-fought 6-4 victory in the second set. At one point, she was two games away from defeat when Kerber rallied from 2-4 down to draw even at 4-4, but eventually won eight of the last 10 points to send the match to a decider.

In the decisive third set, the world No. 31 Hsieh whitewashed Kerber 6-0 to move onto the last eight.

This marked Hsieh's first victory against the former world No. 1 in their three encounters and her first Top 10 victory since stunning then-world No. 1 Simona Halep at Wimbledon last summer.

Hsieh next faces fourth seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic for a place in her second semi-final of the season, and her first since the opening week of the ASB Classic in Auckland early this year.

"How did I win? I tried very hard," Hsieh said after the match. "The first two sets, we both tried super-hard, so it was very close. In the final set, I did a little bit more. I felt more relaxed in the final set, so I gained the match pretty well."

"You always need to be really positive on the court and you need to try very hard. In a few of the games I was thinking: 'Maybe I hit the ball pretty well,' but I wanted to be a little bit on the safe side. She comes in, smashes on you. It's quite tough," she was quoted as saying.

"I just need to try to play my game and be happy on the court, be positive," Hsieh said.

(By Evelyn Kao)
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