Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei improved her doubles ranking to a career-best third in the world after teaming up with Peng Shuai of China to win the doubles title at the WTA Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sunday.
The duo became the first Asians to win the doubles title in the year-end event’s history after beating Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 6-4, 7-5 in 1 hour, 46 minutes.
After the victory, Hsieh moved up a notch in the rankings from fourth to third, while Peng rose from fifth to fourth, pulling closer to the world’s top ranked team of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy.
However, whether the two will get a shot at the coveted No. 1 spot remains uncertain, because Peng has been rumored to be interested in devoting more time to singles next year. Hsieh also admitted during the season that it was tough for her to find a balance between singles and doubles, and her singles ranking has fallen from 25th at the end of last year to 87th.
Asked about their future, Hsieh told the WTA Web site: “We haven’t really discussed it yet.”
“Do we play together next year?” Peng said with a giggle.
“It depends on if we fight or not in the next two months,” Hsieh joked.
“We’re just looking forward to some rest time now and then we’ll train together,” Peng added.
Even if one or both players are tempted to devote more time to singles next year, there is no doubt that Hsieh and Peng’s doubles partnership has been lucrative this year.
Hsieh, who will turn 28 in early January, won US$1,109,280 on the WTA Tour this year, about two-thirds of the US$1.67 million she had won in her previous 12 years as a professional.
Nearly US$760,000 of that was won in doubles, helped by the big paydays for winning Wimbledon (US$234,783) and the WTA Championships (US$230,000).
In another argument for the two to stick together, Hsieh and Peng have a 9-0 record in WTA doubles finals and they won five of those events this year — Rome, Wimbledon, Cincinnati, Guangzhou and the WTA Championships.