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.
On Thursday, the 30-year-old Williams looked more like the champion of yesteryear than the player who exited in the first round of the French Open five weeks ago.
She controlled the play against Azarenka in the first set with her service game, winning 20 of the 24 points she started. She then went up an early break in the second set, before Azarenka responded to make it 3-3.
They held the rest of the way, before Williams picked up her final three aces in the tiebreaker — the last one on match point.
“I got a little tight in the second set. I couldn’t relax,” Williams said. “I was, like, looking too far in the future, and she came back, but I’m glad I was able to get through.”
The previous Wimbledon record of 23 aces was set by Williams in a three-set victory over Zheng Jie in the third round of this year’s tournament.
“I don’t see anybody else serving like this on the tour,” Azarenka said. “I was just trying to get the ball back as many times as I could, but it wasn’t enough today.”
A few hours later, the Williams sisters reached the semi-finals in the women’s doubles — putting them two matches from their fifth Wimbledon title.
Earlier on Centre Court, Radwanska won with her steady play, winning five straight games to close out the first set after going down a break early.
She will need more of that to have a chance against Williams in the final.
“She’s been consistent this year, more consistent than I have,” Williams said of Radwanska. “That already tells me from the beginning I really need to go out there and be ready to hit a lot of shots, and be ready to play hard.”
Radwanska can take over the world No. 1 ranking if she beats Williams today. If not, Azarenka, who won the Australian Open, will take over the top spot from Maria Sharapova.
Just reaching a major final, the first of her career, is an achievement for both Radwanska and Poland.
The last Polish player to reach a major final was Jadwiga Jedrzejowska, but she lost in the final of the 1939 French Championships, two years after runner-up finishes at Wimbledon and the US Championships.
“I’m just very happy that I can be the second one here in Wimbledon, being in the final. She lost in three sets that year, but I will try now and we will see,” Radwanska said.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on