Saturday, July 6, 2013
Hsieh Su-wei, Peng Shuai win title
LONDON -- Having first played together as teenagers, Hsieh Su-wei and Peng Shuai won their first Grand Slam title with a 7-6 (1), 6-1 victory Saturday over Australian duo Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the women's doubles final at Wimbledon.
Hsieh became the first player from Taiwan to win a Grand Slam title, while Peng gave China its first doubles title at a major in seven years.
"It's very special because I don't think tennis is popular in Taiwan," Hsieh said. "We didn't see many media during this tournament. We're very proud we can win this tournament together with my good friend. It's our first title, for Taiwan, so I think it's big thing in Taiwan."
The pair, who are both 27, played a few tournaments together as amateurs but ended their partnership after turning pro. After a seven-year hiatus, Hsieh asked Peng at the 2008 U.S. Open if she would be up for a renewed association.
The duo reunited by the end of that year and won their first 11 matches, claiming titles in Bali and Sydney. They lost their opening-round match in the 2009 Australian Open quarterfinals against Serena and Venus Williams but now have six titles together.
Both Peng and Hsieh play two-handed shots on both sides, like Marion Bartoli, who won the Wimbledon women's singles title on Saturday.
"It's probably the first time (two-handed players) win the singles and the doubles," Peng said.
Peng and Hsieh said they opted for this unorthodox style of play because they were too small to hold their rackets with one hand when they were kids.
The 12th-seeded Dellacqua and Barty were bidding to become the first all-Australian team to win the women's title at the All England Club since 1978.