Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei made history at last year’s Australian Open, but she was unable to conjure up the same magic yesterday and fell to compatriot Chan Yung-jan in straight sets in the first round of the women’s singles.
Hsieh shocked tennis circles by reaching the round of 16 in Melbourne last year, the first time any Taiwanese player had advanced so far in a grand slam singles draw.
That showing even had her set as a slight favorite on some international Internet betting sites, but the higher-ranked Chan steamrolled through the first set and held on in the second to beat Hsieh 6-3, 6-3.
Chan stormed out to a 5-1 lead in the opener and closed it out in 25 minutes, but Hsieh offered plenty of resistance in the 42-minute second set.
Hsieh repeatedly had Chan on the ropes by taking two-point leads in at least five games in the set, but she ended up losing three of them.
For the match, she was only able to convert three of seven break opportunities while Chan won all five of her break point chances.
The 19-year-old Chan, long considered to have the brightest future of any young Taiwanese player, male or female, will now face the 18th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, who destroyed Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 6-0, 6-0. The two have never faced each other.
Chan, who had concentrated heavily on doubles over the past two years in a failed bid for Olympic gold, split with partner Chuang Chia-jung after last year’s US Open and is now more committed to improving her No. 75 world singles ranking.
Hsieh, whose five singles victories in top tier tournaments last year all came in grand slam events, will plummet from her world No. 82 ranking with the loss, as she will lose the ranking points won at last year’s Australian Open.