Sun, Jul 14, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Taiwanese to play in doubles finals

‘CHALLENGE COMING’:Hsieh Su-wei is looking to win a second Wimbledon doubles title, while Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig hope to extend their winning streak together

Staff writer, with CNA

Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic celebrate defeating Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France in the Wimbledon women’s doubles semi-final in London on Friday.

Photo: EPA-EFE

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei on Friday reached the second Wimbledon women’s doubles finals of her career after she and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic overcame the top seeds, while compatriot Latisha Chan advanced to the finals of the mixed doubles.

Third seeds Hsieh and Strycova edged defending French Open champion duo Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.

They were to face another major challenge in the final yesterday against fourth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Xu Yifan of China.

The Canadian-Chinese duo have never won a Grand Slam women’s doubles title, but on Friday showed they are in top form with a convincing 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over second seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic.

Hsieh and Strycova have faced Dabrowski and Xu once this year, beating them 6-3, 6-1 on clay in Madrid in May.

The 33-year-old Hsieh won a Wimbledon doubles title with Peng Shuai of China in 2013, but saw yesterday’s final as a refreshing new challenge with a partner she seems to gel with.

“It was a long time ago,” she told the Wimbledon Web site of her past success. “It was very exciting before, but now there’s a new challenge coming and then tomorrow we just go on the court and enjoy it.”

“It doesn’t matter what happens. We just fight for every point and try to smile with every point,” Hsieh said.

The 33-year-old Strycova, who does not have a Grand Slam title of any kind, has had an excellent tournament, having also reached the singles semi-finals.

She said she was pleased with the way she and Hsieh came through on Friday.

“We are very happy,” Strycova was quoted as saying on the Wimbledon Web site.

“I think the level of the match was very high — in the first set, us and also the other team were playing really, really good tennis and we took the first set, which was really important for us. And then we built the confidence in the second. It was a tough, good match for us.”

In the first set, Babos and Mladenovic appeared overpowering, losing only five points in their six service games.

However, Hsieh and Strycova also never faced a break point, setting up a tight tiebreaker that they won 7-5 when the Czech hit a sharp backhand volley off a service return.

The third seeds scored a key breakthrough in the first game of the second set when they finally scored a service break.

That was all they needed, as their excellent serving — 75 percent of first serves — and impeccable play at the net kept their opponents at bay.

Hsieh clinched the match with a cross-court backhand that eluded Babos.

Chan also had a big day on Friday, reaching the mixed doubles finals with her Croatian partner Ivan Dodig.

Eighth seeds Chan and Dodig upended fifth seeds Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-4 in another tight encounter.

The Taiwanese-Croatian duo, who won the mixed doubles at the French Open last year and this year, are to vie for their first Wimbledon mixed doubles title today against unseeded Robert Lindstedt of Sweden and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

Dodig and Chan have only lost one set in the four matches they have played in reaching the final.

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