Fri, Dec 07, 2012 - Page 19 News List

INTERVIEW: Tennis player Hsieh Su-wei has year to remember

ON THE BALL:In an exclusive interview with the ‘Taipei Times,’ Taiwanese tennis star Hsieh Su-wei talks about her tennis year, tournaments, traveling and stinky tofu

By Tony Phillips  /  Staff reporter

Despite her recent singles success, Hsieh is not neglecting doubles and is to team up with China’s Peng Shuai next year.

“We’ve known each other for more than 12 years,” Hsieh said. “We’re good friends, so I think we will enjoy doubles next year and try to win a Grand Slam together.”

“We understand how we [both] play and how to get out of problems if we have trouble on the court,” she said. “We understand each other a lot and this is an important key in doubles, so that will help us a lot.”

McNamee — who won the doubles title at Wimbledon in 1980 and 1982, and at the Australian Open in 1979 and 1983 — believes Hsieh is destined to go far in the format he mastered so well.

“I’d love to see [Hsieh and Peng] in the final of a Grand Slam,” he said. “I believe in Su-wei’s career she definitely has the capability of winning a Grand Slam in doubles.”

Hsieh was born in Hsinchu and spent her early childhood there before moving to Kaohsiung and then to Taipei, where she now lives.

However, her life on the tennis circuit means that she spends less than three months of the year in Taiwan.

As well as missing family and friends, Hsieh has a yearning for Taiwanese food when she is away.

“I miss the food from the night market, especially chou doufu [stinky tofu],” she said.

Apart from Taipei, her favorite city of the many she has visited over the course of her career is Tokyo, which has a lot of attractions for Hsieh.

“The food, the culture, the buildings are pretty nice and the shopping is also good … and they have a Disneyland!” she said.

After completing pre-season training in Melbourne, Hsieh will have a brief trip home for Christmas, before heading for Shenzhen, where she is competing in a new WTA tournament. She then travels to Tasmania for the Moorilla Hobart International before playing in the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open.

“I’m traveling almost every week. Hotels are my home … and the tennis court,” she said.

Despite having spent more than 10 years on the grueling professional circuit, Hsieh has no plans to hang up her racket anytime soon.

“If my coach doesn’t fire me I’ll continue to play for a couple more years!” she joked.

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