Tennis Prose



Super Su-wei Hsieh Still Going Strong at 35

You would think Su-wei Hsieh would have hung it up in singles by now, after all, she just turned 35 four days ago. With all the mileage on her legs and body, all the defending and scrambling and fighting to hang in there, you would think it’s not humanly possible for the slightly built woman from Taipei to still be out there succeeding on the WTA circuit against all those fit and strong young tigresses hungry for glory, fame and fortune.

Yesterday, Hsieh pulled off yet another magic match, in Abu Dhabi, beating 8 seed Marketa Vondrousova 36 63 76.

Now ranked 67 in singles – and no. 1 in doubles – Hsieh bested the 21 year old ranked 21 with her typical arsenal of defense, offense, variety, deception, trickery, intelligence, surprise and supreme mastery of the ball. You know, the way she always does it.

It defies logic how Hsieh can still be out there grinding at 35, when notable, talented players like Gustavo Kuerten, Brian Baker, Marcelo Rios, Kent Carlsen, Patrick Rafter, Jennifer Capriati, Agnes Szavay and Jamie Hampton had their careers wrecked by injury.

Hsieh will play Marta Kostyuk in the next round today. Hsieh is also in the doubles draw and will play today with her new partner Barbora Krejcikova (vs. Fichman/Olmos).

That Hsieh is still out there making magic happen with her Yonex is hard to fathom.

I remember seeing Hsieh lose in 2017 US Open qualies in singles three years ago, and after she lost in the third round to Kaia Kanepi 62 64, and as she walked off court 14 on that hot afternoon a beaten, tired woman, the thought occurred that this could be the last time we ever see her competing in singles in a Grand Slam.

It may have been the most wrong I’ve ever been regarding a tennis matter.

Just a few months later, Hsieh played possibly the best tennis of her career at the Australian Open, beating world no. 3 Muguruza 76 64, then no. 26 Radwanska 62 75, to set up a round of 16 showdown with Kerber. Hsieh was up 64 and had multiple chances to finish it in the second but was unable to and lost 64 57 26. Still, she played some of her best tennis in 2018 and 2019 and 2020 and by the looks of things this week, Hsieh is still going strong.

Miracles happen in sports, players perform results and achievements that simply defy all logic, which leave the most astute of experts scratching their heads in amazement. Anything is possible in anything, anywhere, anytime. Su-wei Hsieh – thank the Tennis Gods – is living proof of this.

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  • Scoop Malinowski · January 9, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    She eked out her doubles with Krejcikov 12-10 in the third but lost to Kostyuk 63 67 63. What an Iron Woman.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 9, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    The story of Abu Dhabi though is Anastasia Gasanova beat Pliskova 62 64. Gasanova is 21 and ranked 229. I never saw her name before. Her ITF results show she stopped playing juniors about 4 years ago and focused on pro ITFs, which she started playing at around 14. She was beaten by Bencic 6060 in 2017 in St. Petersburg, she didn’t do anything in any junior slams. It says she made her ITF junior debut at 12 or 13, wonder if she really is 21? Amazing win for her yesterday though, she trounced Pliskova routinely. Another dynamo has emerged. Gauff got sent home by Sakkari 75 62. Gauff was up two breaks in the first and lost the set. Struggles continue for Coco.



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