Sat, Jan 19, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Hsieh's fairy tale run continues

ON FIRETaiwan's Hsieh Su-wei is headed for the biggest match of her life 320 an encounter with the world No. 1 320 after she beat Aravane Rezai in an action-packed contest

By Tony Phillips  /  STAFF WRITER

Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan celebrates after beating Aravane Rezai of France in their women's singles third-round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday.

PHOTOS: AP

Hsieh Su-wei's fairy tale run at the Australian Open continued yesterday when she beat Aravane Rezai 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 to reach the fourth round in Melbourne.

Having now won six singles matches on the trot, three in qualifying and three in the main draw, she next faces world No. 1 Justine Henin in what will be the biggest match of her life.

Cheered on by a small but enthusiastic group of Taiwanese fans, Hsieh started yesterday's clash against her French opponent in fine style, taking the first set in only 29 minutes.

Rezai bounced back in the second, breaking Hsieh's serve in the first game. Then, in a pattern that was repeated throughout the encounter, the Frenchwoman immediately squandered her good work, losing the next game to love. As the set went on, the 19-year-old from St Etienne looked increasingly frustrated, mixing spectacular winners with repeated unforced errors.

Hsieh broke the teenager again in the sixth game and served for the match at 5-3. However, the Taiwanese player seemed to be struck by an attack of nerves and Rezai fought back to take the game.

In the very next game Hsieh had three match points but failed to take them as Rezai hung on for dear life to make it 5-5.

The next two games went with serve and the set went to a tiebreak. Hsieh immediately claimed a mini-break before her opponent broke back.

Rezai broke again to go 5-3 up before winning the next two points, the second with an ace, to tie things up at one set apiece.

The Frenchwoman dropped her serve in the first game of the deciding set before breaking back in the fourth.

She again dropped her serve in the next game and once more in the seventh to leave Hsieh to serve for the match at 5-2.

Remarkably, Rezai still was not done, saving a match point before taking the next two games to leave Hsieh to serve for the match once again at 5-4.

Hsieh reached three match points and when Rezai sent a backhand long on the second of them, claimed an entertaining contest in just more than two hours.

The most telling statistic was the number of unforced errors. While Hsieh made 28, Rezai's 58 cost her dear as the Frenchwoman actually hit more winners, 30, to Hsieh's 24. In the end Hsieh's consistency and Rezai's inconsistency decided the match.

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