Tue, Feb 18, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Hsieh, Peng now top two in world after Qatar win

RISING STARS:The triumph in Doha catapulted Hsieh to second in the doubles rankings and crowned Peng as the new No. 1, with the Taiwanese now bidding to share first

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei, right, and doubles partner Peng Shuai of China hold up their trophies on Sunday after beating Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovakia to win the WTA Qatar Ladies Open doubles final in Doha.

Photo: EPA

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Peng Shuai of China won the Qatar Open doubles final on Sunday, improving to 10-0 in WTA Tour doubles finals together and claiming the top two spots in the world rankings.

Second seeds Hsieh and Peng reeled off seven games in a row from 5-4 in the first set to rout third seeds Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Slovenia’s Katarina Srebotnik 6-4, 6-0.

“Hopefully, we’ll have more finals, but it was a great week for us. We played some very good teams this week — especially today in the final — and we’re really happy to win this title,” Peng told the WTA Tour’s Web site.

The duo now have 10 WTA Tour doubles titles: Bali in 2008; Sydney, Rome and Beijing in 2009; Rome, Wimbledon, Cincinnati, Guangzhou and the WTA Championships last year; and now the Qatar Open.

By virtue of the win, the duo replaced Italians Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci as the top two doubles players in the world. Hsieh has risen to world No. 2 — the highest ranking ever held by any Taiwanese player in singles or doubles — while Peng has ascended to No. 1 in the world.

Following the victory in Qatar, Peng said she would be returning to her home in Tianjin, China.

“I really want to thank all my team, my parents, my friends, and everyone who helped me and supported me all these years,” Peng told the WTA Web site.

“Getting to No. 1 is a great and [an] amazing moment for me, and I hope to share it with them now. I’m going to go home tomorrow and will celebrate with everyone there, but this gives us more motivation to work hard,” she added.

“Now people will be watching us more so it puts more pressure on us, but Su-wei and I are going to help each other and try our best to keep going,” Peng said. “We are looking forward to the rest of the year and hopefully the WTA Championships in Singapore.”

Next for Hsieh is the inaugural Rio Open, where she will team up with her younger sister, Hsieh Shu-ying, to contest the doubles event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In a message posted on Facebook, Hsieh described her partnership with Peng as “amazing,” adding that “Hopefully I’ll be the next [to reach No. 1]. Ha!”

Hsieh said she could move up to share the No. 1 spot with Peng if she and her sister manage to win either of the next two tournaments they are to play in South America.

Additional reporting by CNA

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