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Hsieh into finals in Guangzhou

2012/09/21 22:31:46

Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei reached the finals of the Guangzhou International Women's Open Friday by upending fourth-seeded Urszula Radwanska of Poland, putting herself in position to win her second WTA Tour title of the year.

Coming off a win at a lower-tier International Tennis Federation US$100,000 tournament in Ningbo, China last week, the unseeded 26-year-old reached a final for the second consecutive week by overcoming her higher-ranked opponent 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 in 1 hour, 37 minutes.

She will face Laura Robson of Britain, who reached the round of 16 at the U.S. Open with wins over Kim Clijsters and Li Na and has continued her hot streak in Guangzhou, in the finals of the US$220,000 event.

Hsieh generally had the upper hand in the match, sputtering only in the second set when she was only able to save one of three break points against her while Radwanska saved four of five.

In the deciding set, Hsieh's third 6-0 set of the tournament, the Taiwanese veteran never faced a break point and kept Radwanska under pressure with wide angle groundstrokes.

Despite disappointments at the Olympic Games and the U.S. Open, where she lost in the first round of the women's singles events, Hsieh is having a career year.

She began 2012 ranked 172nd in singles, an afterthought even among Taiwanese players and an unlikely candidate for an Olympic singles berth.

But working with new coach Paul McNamee, she surged up the rankings in February when she reached the semifinals of the PTT Pattaya Open and then won the BMW Malaysian Open.

Hsieh also won an ITF event in Wenshan in April and reached the round of 32 at Wimbledon before losing to Maria Sharapova.

She had done little since Wimbledon, but her victory last week helped vault her to 53rd in the world, the best singles ranking in a career that was previously more distinguished for doubles.

Even if she loses to Robson in Saturday's final in Guangzhou, she will move inside the top 50 in the world rankings for the first time ever.

(By Luke Sabatier)