Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) reached the second Wimbledon women’s doubles finals of her career Friday after she and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic used a combination of savvy and skill to overcome the more powerful top-seeded team of the tournament.
Hsieh and Strycova, seeded third in the event, edged past defending French Open champion duo of Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-6 (5), 6-4, in a high-quality match decided by a smattering of points.
As tough as Babos and Mladenovic were, the third seeds will face another major challenge in the final Saturday against fourth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Xu Yifan of China.
The Canadian-Chinese duo have never won a Grand Slam women’s doubles title but showed they are in top form with a convincing 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over second seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic, also on Friday. Hsieh and Strycova have faced Dabrowski and Xu once this year, beating them 6-3, 6- 1 on the clay in Madrid in May.
The 33-year-old Hsieh won a Wimbledon doubles title with Peng Shuai of China in 2013, but she sees Saturday’s final as a refreshing new challenge with a partner in Strycova she seems to gel with.
“It was a long time ago,” she told the Wimbledon website of her past success. “It was very exciting before but now there’s a new challenge coming and then tomorrow we just go on the court and enjoy it.
“It doesn’t matter what happens. We just fight for every point and try to smile with every point,” Hsieh was quoted as saying.
The 33-year-old Strycova, who does not have a Grand Slam title of any kind in her career, has had an excellent tournament, having reached the semifinals in singles, and she was pleased with the way she and Hsieh came through Friday.
“We are very happy,” Strycova was quoted as saying on the Wimbledon website.
“I think the level of the match was very high – in the first set, us and also the other team were playing really, really good tennis and we took the first set, which was really important for us. And then we built the confidence in the second. It was a tough, good match for us.”
In the first set, Babos and Mladenovic appeared overpowering, losing a total of only five points in their six service games.
But Hsieh and Strycova never faced a break point either, setting up a tight tiebreaker that they won 7-5 when the Czech hit a gorgeous sharply angled backhand volley off a service return out of the reach of her opponents.
The third seeds scored a key breakthrough in the first game of the second set when they finally scored a service break.
That was all they needed, as their excellent serving (75 percent of first serves in) and impeccable play at the net kept their opponents at bay, and Hsieh clinched the match with a crosscourt backhand that eluded Babos.
Another Taiwanese player, Latisha Chan (詹詠然) also had a big day Friday, reaching the finals of mixed doubles event with partner Ivan Dodig of Croatia.
Seeded eighth at Wimbledon, Chan and Dodig upended fifth seeds Wesley Koolhof of the Netherlands and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-4 in another tight encounter.
The Taiwanese-Croatian duo, who won the mixed doubles at the French Open in 2018 and 2019, will vie for their first Wimbledon mixed doubles title against unseeded Robert Lindstedt of Sweden and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.
Dodig and Chan have only lost one set in the four matches they have played in reaching the final.