She may not be a household name, but for fans who closely follow Grand Slam tennis, Hsieh Su-Wei is a must-see player.
Earlier this year, the world No. 48 took out Garbine Muguruza and Agnieszka Radwanska at the Australian Open to reach the fourth round. On Saturday, she completed her latest trick, at the expense of world No. 1 Simona Halep. She lost the first set, trailed 2-5 in the decider and faced a match point—but she remained calm right up until the last point was won.
"Since, like, I enjoy a lot, very much. On the court I was more enjoy than before, too," Hsieh said. "I like to do some different stuff. I like to run. It was really good, yes."
More than the results, it’s Hsieh’s game that makes her matches so fascinating. She moves and hits her strokes with seemingly little effort. She plays with no discernable pattern, other than to hit the shot that will wrong-foot her opponent. She grips the racket with two hands on both wings. Her drop shot is light as a feather, and she rarely misses it.
Her style made her a difficult practice partner.
'I normally drive the girl crazy before because when I practice, in two shots I do drop shot. If I don't drop shot, I hit as hard as I can," Hsieh said. "The girl is like... Maybe I should have someone to travel with me and I don't drive the other girl crazy."
Hsieh Su-Wei has three Top 10 wins in her career.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) July 7, 2018
They have all come at the Slams, all in the last 14 months:
2017 Roland Garros: d. Konta
2018 Australian Open: d. Muguruza
2018 Wimbledon: d. Halep
Slammin’ Hsieh Su-Wei. #Wimbledon
To watch Hsieh is to watch someone play free. When she takes to the court, especially on the big stages, it’s as though time slows down for her and she just plays in the moment.
"All I want to do is just go on the court and hit the shot and run every point and enjoy it," she said after the Halep match.
Her enjoyment would reach an end on Monday, at the hands of Dominika Cibulkova, who's still on the warpath after Serena Williams' seeding by committee bumped her out of her No. 32 spot. Cibulkova’s aggressive game and Hsieh’s wizardry made for a fascinating contrast in styles, with the Slovak winning, 6-4, 6-1.
Regardless of her bowing out, Hsieh is always a welcome site at the Slams and in the press room.