Sun, Mar 16, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Hsieh, Peng rally to advance to final

‘HAVING SOME FUN’:The cross-strait duo rallied to beat Kuznetsova and Stosur 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 10-2, and face Black and Mirza, who beat them in Tokyo last year, in the final

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter

Top seeds, doubles world No. 2 Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and world No. 1 Peng Shuai of China, rallied from a set and a break down on Friday to reach the BNP Paribas Open women’s doubles final.

Hsieh and Peng fell 6-3, 3-1 behind and faced a point for a 6-3, 4-1 deficit against Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova and Samantha Stosur of Australia, but the cross-strait duo did not give up, rallying to win the second set, even though Kuznetsova and Stosur served for a spot in the final at 6-3, 5-4.

The Taiwanese-Chinese pairing went up a gear from there, storming to an 8-0 lead in the super tiebreak, before wrapping up a 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 10-2 victory.

“They were playing really well in the first set,” Peng told the WTA Web site. “First we were up, but then we lost the set and went down a break in the second set. When we got it back to the tiebreak, we weren’t thinking that much, we were just trying to fight — because you never really know when the match will be over. We made some good shots early in the super tiebreak and our confidence kept growing.”

“We were trying very hard at the beginning of the super tiebreak to get all of the balls back,” Hsieh told the WTA Web site.

“They were hitting it very strong and very powerful, and deep too, so we had to concentrate really hard, but we started playing better and better, and we’re really happy we could win the match,” Hsieh said.

Hsieh and Peng were set to put their perfect 10-0 record in WTA doubles finals on the line in yesterday’s final. They have 10 WTA Tour titles — Bali in 2008; Sydney, Rome and Beijing in 2009; Rome, Wimbledon, Cincinnati, Guangzhou and the WTA Championships last year; and Doha earlier this year.

Awaiting them in the final are fifth seeds Cara Black of Zimbabwe and India’s Sania Mirza, who also have a perfect record in WTA Tour doubles finals — they won back-to-back titles in Tokyo and Beijing last year.

They have clashed once before, in the semi-finals in Tokyo last year, a match that Black and Mirza won 6-4, 6-2.

“We’re going to just keep doing the same — trying our best and having some fun there,” Hsieh said about the final.

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