Tennis

Hsieh downs Radwanksa to reach last 16

Taiwanese keeps the Asian flag flying along with South Korea's Chung Hyeon and Japan's Naomi Osaka

Taiwanese veteran Hsieh Su-wei reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for only the second time when she rolled past Agnieszka Radwanska at the Australian Open on Saturday (Jan 20).

Hsieh, who knocked out third seed Garbine Muguruza in round two, followed up with an assured victory over the Polish former world No. 2 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 39 minutes.

Her reward is a last-16 clash with the 2016 champion Angelique Kerber.

“I come back to the big court again!” said an excited Hsieh when told she would face Kerber.

But could she take a third big name scalp at Melbourne? “I don’t know,” she said. “But I will try.”

It is 10 years since Hsieh last progressed so far in a Grand Slam singles, also at the Australian Open, where she lost to Belgian great Justine Henin.

“It’s amazing to make the fourth round again after 10 years,” said the emotional world No. 88 after the win on Margaret Court Arena.

Radwanska, seeded 26th, had treatment for a left knee injury which needed taping during the second set.

The experienced Hsieh took advantage by mixing up her baseline game with a dizzying repertoire of drop shots and lobs which made for a wonderfully entertaining match.

Radwanska hung in despite her injury, breaking back twice in the second set to 2-2 and 4-4.

“It’s always hard to win the last game to beat a great player. It was very intense for me,” Hsieh said, after punching the air in delight as she secured victory on her second match-point. 

Hsieh's victory rounds up a creditable day for Asia at the year's opening Grand Slam, with South Korean Chung Hyeon and Japan's Naomi Osaka also progressing to the fourth round.

Chung, who is only 21 years old and ranked world No. 58, had defeated fourth seed and 20-year-old Alexander Zverev 5-7, 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, while Osaka, 20, ousted 21-year-old Australian Ashleigh Barty 6-4, 6-2.

Osaka meets world No. 1 Simona Halep in the last 16, while Chung will face Novak Djokovic. – AFP

Hsieh Su-weitaiwanaustralian openagnieszka radwanska