Taiwan’s Hsieh advances in Hiroshima

By Dave Carroll  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Sep 12, 2018 - Page 16

Taiwanese second seed Hsieh Su-wei yesterday rallied from a set down to advance to the second round of the Japan Women’s Open, while there were also victories for Chinese top seed Zhang Shuai and defending champion Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

World No. 40 Hsieh fought back to defeat Slovenian world No. 77 Polona Hercog 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 in 1 hour, 51 minutes on the hard courts at the Regional Park Tennis Stadium in Hiroshima, Japan.

The Taiwanese No. 1 saved nine of 14 break points and converted eight of 14, winning 90 of the 167 points contested, despite sending down nine double faults.

Hsieh, looking for a first WTA Tour singles title since she won in Kuala Lumpur and Guangzhou, China, in 2012, advanced to a second-round clash with world No. 139 Mandy Minella of Luxembourg, who ousted Japanese world No. 118 Kurumi Nara 6-3, 6-4.

Top seed and world No. 41 Zhang took 1 hour, 28 minutes to see off world No. 141 Magdalena Frech of Poland 7-5, 6-3, while world No. 65 and defending champion Diyas routed Spanish world No. 86 Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-2, 6-1 in just 67 minutes.

“I’m not thinking about defending a title, I’m just trying to enjoy to play every match and every game here. I’m feeling good. It was a really good game today. It was tough,” Diyas told the WTA Web site. “She puts a lot of balls back and she has a good slice, so it was really important to stay focused and play my game.”

Also advancing was Japanese wild-card Nao Hibino, who defeated Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-4, 6-4 in 1 hour, 28 minutes.

“I was a little bit sad. My friends Miyu Kato and Misaki Doi lost yesterday, so I was like: ‘I have to win for the Japanese people,’” Hibino told the WTA Web site.