Tennis Prose




Sep/21

1

Hsieh Rope A Dopes Liu at US Open

Su-Wei Hsieh is 35 now and she’s looking as good as ever. Hsieh may be getting older but her tennis skills aren’t declining in the least. Once again she displayed her one of a kind arsenal of variety to thoroughly lecture young American Claire Liu though it took five match points at the end to close the deal 61 64.

Hsieh filled up the arena at court 5 yesterday afternoon and didn’t disappoint her legion of supporters and fans. The wizard was at her best.

The first set was a teacher with her pupil and as one-sided as the scoreline reads. Hsieh doesn’t run around the court, she trots with nimble feet and uncanny anticipation.

Hsieh doesn’t pound the ball but she somehow powers winners while almost delicately handling the ball with her Yonex.

Every movement is perfectly efficient, nothing is wasted. Liu was playing tennis, Hsieh was playing a different game.

It’s really hard to explain. Maybe she came from another planet or something. Maybe she grew up playing tennis with a golf club for two years and using a tennis racquet is easy for her. There has to be some kind of logical explanation for the way she can play. The ball just rockets off her racquet. Maybe she has supernatural powers like some kind of tennis Ben Kenobi, reading and anticipating before it happens.

Whatever shot is needed, she can execute. Winners off high balls, set up shots in the corners off high balls. Serve and volley and she converts the easy volley winner. Serve and volley and she does a sort of mini Pete Sampras slam dunk winner down the middle.

There are no unecessary facial expressions or useless talking or any losses of focus. All her energies are directed to winning the next point and making the shots necessary to accomplish that.

Second set at 3-3 Hsieh suddenly found herself down love-40 on her own serve. Liu was starting to adapt and figure it out. Uh oh, trouble in paradise? Nah. she won five points in row to take the game. Pressure? What pressure?

A few minutes later it was over. 61 64. To the next round Hsieh goes. She had no reaction, just walk to the net and shake hands. No smiles, no screams of joy. Maybe just a quick peak at her team in the corner. She looked not unlike any woman who just bought groceries and was exiting the store.

The Wimbledon doubles champ is still going strong, very strong. She is ranked 81 now in singles with a record of 11-13 on the year, 516-334 overall in her career that is now approaching two decades in longevity.

It’s been a good summer in 2021 for Hsieh. She won that Grand Slam in doubles and two matches in Cincy against Peyton Stearns and Lauren Davis but lost to Coco Gauff 61 62. She beat Venus in Chicago 62 63 then lost to Martincova in three.

In the US Open second round Hsieh takes on Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain. If she can beat Tormo, Hsieh gets the winner of Zhang vs Raducanu. She’s in the doubles again with new partner Elise Mertens, who she just won Wimbledon with.

Hsieh is certain to exceed over $10m in career prize money this year.

And by the look of her form yesterday, Hsieh may continue performing her tennis magic for another five years.

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