Tennis maverick Hsieh Su-Wei displays on memorable Australian Open

Tennis maverick Hsieh Su-Wei reflects on memorable Australian Open


The Taiwanese star, ranked as one of many world’s finest doubles participant, reached the quarterfinal stage in Melbourne, the furthest she has ever gone as a singles participant in a grand slam.

“Every moment is all very special, doesn’t matter if it’s winning or losing, because sometimes when you lose, you will learn a lot,” Hsieh instructed CNN Sport.

“Like [when] I played Naomi, I saw the number of her serve speed, I felt like: ‘Wow.’ You need to be looking forward, looking on the good parts. I’m this kind of person.

“I attempt to go a bit of bit higher as a result of, you realize, with my type, I’d not serve like Naomi, however I’ll attempt to enhance.”

Unlike most players on the professional tour, Hsieh is without a kit or racket sponsor meaning she pays for all her equipment herself.

According to coach Paul McNamee, she can go years without changing her racket, something which many players do multiple times during a single match.

Speaking with reporters at the Australian Open, McNamee said Hsieh had once gone three years without changing her racket and only thought it was time for a change when the strings began to break.

Playing without a sponsor

Ranked 50th in the world on the singles tour, Hsieh remains relaxed about the possibility her success in Melbourne could see a flurry of sponsorship opportunities come her way.

“People say it is fighting a sponsor scenario, however I’m not pondering in that method as a result of there’s all the time a sponsor coming to me, however I haven’t got a supervisor,” stated Hsieh, who has career earnings of over $9 million.

“So for me, if I do not discover somebody who I can work [with], then I higher deal with tennis as a result of I’m a tennis participant. You can’t neglect what you are doing and what’s your first precedence. So I simply make selections. Very easy.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal to have it or don’t have it.”

Rising up by the junior ranks in Taiwan, a rustic with out a lot tennis infrastructure, Hsieh demonstrated her early potential however her father, and mentor, may by no means get a sponsorship deal over the road.

She stated her slight construct used to place potential sponsors off, with them asking her to come back again when she had grown some extra.

Undeterred, Hsieh began to play professionally on the age of 16, although life on tour wasn’t straightforward although. She struggled to join tournaments and was having to plan every thing herself. That was till she met McNamee.

The former Australian tennis participant took a Hsieh underneath his wing in 2011 and unburdened her of the executive complications. It allowed Hsieh to deal with her sport and unleash her true potential.

“He’s kind of like my teacher, my parent, my family and a good friend,” Hsieh stated on McNamee’s affect.

“He’s always behind me, next to me, it was very helpful. I feel so much support and so much warmth.

“I really feel very glad as a result of when you find yourself working with the people who find themselves all the time type and constructive, you get plenty of good vitality.”

Hsieh captured the hearts of the public with her positive attitude.

Australian Open run

Hsieh has won three grand slam doubles titles, making her one of Asia’s most successful players, and her unorthodox style of play makes her a consistent thorn in the side for some of the sport’s elite.

She seems to play on instinct which, if nothing else, often makes for a great match for those watching.

However, despite her record run in Melbourne this year, Hsieh wasn’t feeling in great form in the build-up to the tournament.

“It’s very unusual as a result of earlier than the match began, 24 hours earlier than, I used to be probably not stepping into the sensation with tennis and abruptly, on Sunday, I simply felt like, oh, I ought to play like this after which I get it on,” stated Hsieh, who was one in every of 72 gamers positioned in a strict 14-day quarantine ahead of the Australian Open’s start.

“This is what occurs. Sometimes tennis is sort of a feeling, psychological[ity] otherwise you simply want to vary a bit of bit and it occurs.”

Her refreshing approach to life, and to the sport of tennis, shows no sign of slowing down as she gets older.

But be careful not to mention her age too much, as one reporter found out to his cost in Melbourne.

After Hsieh upset the odds by beating 2019 US Champion Bianca Andreescu in straight sets, on-court interviewer Brett Phillips congratulated her on the victory and, after mentioning her age, asked how many years she thinks she can keep playing.

Hsieh delivered a rapier-like riposte to the question, followed by her trademark smile.

“Just little reminder [for] you. In Asia, we usually do not say the woman’s age within the public,” she said, putting her finger to her mouth to shush the interviewer.

Age is just a number

Age is simply a number to the Taiwanese star.

“I’m not targeted on that, so it is no downside for me, I simply do what I have to do,” she said.

“I attempt to make my work a bit of bit completely different. Every yr I attempt to discover one thing completely different to make it occur, to be extra strong or transfer higher.”

Now based in Paris, France, with her boyfriend and coach Frederic Aniere, Hsieh wants to make the most of her remaining years in the game.

She’s proved throughout her career that she’s capable of mixing with the best singles players on the WTA Tour and fans will certainly be hoping to see more of her in grand slams to come.

“For me, it is essential to maintain wholesome, to be glad and to work onerous. You simply have to be affected person,” she said, adding that living in the Paris gives her the perfect opportunity to indulge in her second love; food.

“Find different stuff you have by no means tried as a result of I’m the one who likes to strive all of the meals and I wish to strive different expertise on the court docket.

“Practice something you never use on the court because you never know when maybe you’re going to use it.”

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