Hsieh into Wimbledon women's doubles finals after stiff challenge

07/09/2021 11:01 PM
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Hsieh Su-wei. CNA file photo
Hsieh Su-wei. CNA file photo

Taipei, July 9 (CNA) Taiwanese veteran Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) has advanced to the finals of the women's doubles at Wimbledon for a third time after she and Elise Mertens of Belgium survived a dynamic Japanese duo.

The 35-year-old Hsieh and 25-year-old Mertens, seeded third at Wimbledon, topped fifth-seeded Japanese Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in a topsy-turvy match that took an hour and 44 minutes on Friday.

Hsieh is hoping this final will go as well as previous two at Wimbledon, when she took the women's doubles crown in 2013 (with Peng Shuai of China) and in 2019 (with Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic).

She started this season with Strycova, but the Czech veteran left the game to start a family, and ended up with Mertens who won this year's Australian Open with Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus before Sabalenka decided to spend more time on her singles.

The duo had not reached a final in any of their four events together this year, but their timing has proven impeccable, as was seen Friday.

Hsieh and Mertens grabbed the only break of the opening set in the seventh game and made it stand to go up a set, but the streaky Japanese are capable of getting hot at any time, and they quickly turned the momentum in their favor, storming to a 5-0 lead before closing out the second set.

But Hsieh and Mertens regained their edge in the final set, getting a break in the fourth game to put themselves in position to serve for the match at 5-3.

In a marathon that lasted 18 points, the third seeds saved five break points and the embarrassment of double faulting on match point to emerge victorious.

For the match Aoyama and Shibahara won 79 points to Hsieh and Mertens' 74, large reflecting their dominance in the second set, but the third seeds played the best on the pivotal points to take the match.

Hsieh and Mertens will battle the winner of the match between two unseeded teams -- Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina of Russia against Storm Sanders of Australia and Caroline Dolehide of the United States -- for the title.

(By Luke Sabatier) enditem/ls

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