Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Colin Fleming of Britain earned a spot in the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles at Wimbledon on Thursday, defeating British pair Laura Robson and Dominic Inglot 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/3) in their third-round match.
Hsieh and Fleming, who are teaming up for the first time, faced a particularly tough challenge from the British duo in a match that did not see a break of serve.
In the first set tiebreaker, Fleming’s quick reactions at the net gave his team a 4-1 lead. Inglot and Robson fought back to 5-3, but a Fleming ace and a netted forehand volley by Inglot gave Hsieh and her partner the set.
A tense second set saw several break point opportunities. Hsieh and Fleming had chances for a breakthrough in the first and seventh games, while Inglot and Robson had break points in the eight and 10th games, the latter a set point.
However, both teams held serve, forcing a second tiebreaker.
Hsieh and Fleming jumped to an early lead and earned a match point when Fleming cleverly intercepted a ball at the net. The duo then clinched the match when Fleming hit an unreturnable serve.
The winners officially made only one unforced error, to 14 by Robson and Inglot. The losers also served up seven double faults — two at critical moments.
“My partner is really nice and we have had a great time during the tournament,” Hsieh said. “It was really relaxing and we were not under much pressure. Overall, our performance was very good.”
Hsieh and Fleming were due to face veteran doubles players Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia in the quarter-finals on Court One late yesterday.
Zimonjic won the Wimbledon’s men’s doubles title in 2008 and 2009, while Srebotnik won the women’s doubles last year.
In the women’s singles semi-finals, rather than counting Serena Williams out at Wimbledon, it was much easier to count her aces.
About a month after losing in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career, Williams hit a tournament-record 24 aces to reach her seventh Wimbledon final.
“I honestly didn’t feel great on my serve today. I really didn’t,” Williams said after beating Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) on Centre Court. “I thought my serve was off and apparently clearly it wasn’t, so maybe I should be off a little more.”
Williams has won 13 Grand Slam titles, but her last one came at the All England Lawn Tennis Club two years ago. Shortly after that victory, Williams cut her feet on glass at a restaurant, leading to a series of health problems, including being hospitalized for clots in her lungs.
“I have so much appreciation for every moment on the court,” Williams said. “I really take pride in playing, especially playing such big, amazing tournaments like this.”
In today’s final, Williams will face Agnieszka Radwanska.
The third-seeded Radwanska became the first Polish player to reach a Grand Slam final since 1939 by beating Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-4 in the other semi-final.
“I’m just going to try to mix it up,” said Radwanska, who cut short her post-match press conference because of a coughing fit. “Of course, every match is different, so I’ll see after tomorrow how it’s going to be.”
Williams and her big sister Venus have been ever-present at Wimbledon since the turn of the century, with one or both reaching the final in 11 of the past 13 tournaments. Between them, they have won nine titles at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.