TENNIS | FRENCH OPEN

Laid-back Hsieh Su-wei slips into carefree mode to topple Johanna Konta

Laid-back Hsieh Su-wei slips into carefree mode to topple Johanna Konta

Clive Brunskill

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Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei credited her “carefree” approach after the world No.109 stunned Britain's Johanna Konta in the French Open first round on Tuesday.
Halep - Stephens: French Open 2018 final

Hsieh Su-wei credited her “carefree” approach after she stunned Britain's Johanna Konta in the French Open first round on Tuesday.

Hsieh toasts second win at the French Open

Doubles specialist Hsieh, ranked 109, recovered from a dreadful start to knock off seventh seed Konta 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 on Court Philippe Chatrier.

“I tried very hard and gave myself a big chance. Every time I tried to run as fast as I can and get the ball back”, admitted Hsieh, who posts only her second victory in seven trips to Roland Garros. “I like to do some different stuff. I think it's quite fun to play the match like that, I don't know if that's really nice or but I like to go out on court and enjoy the match”.

Hsieh Su-wei serves

Hsieh stages fightback to down Konta

Hsieh had won just twice at tour level this year and appeared to be heading for a swift exit as Konta raced through the opening set. “I was like, 'Oh my god', I was missing a lot of balls. Second set we start again, I don't think about the first set so it was a new set for me and it was pretty good...” she said.

Asian players versus tennis' big hitters

The 31-year-old won the 2014 French Open doubles title with China's Peng Shuai, as well Wimbledon in 2013, but it was the first time she had played on the main Roland Garros show court in singles. “I was making jokes to calm my nerves, 'Oh coach I am so nervous I cannot play…'. When you make it fun you feel more relaxed on the court - It was an amazing result. It wasn’t easy as she is a great player. I had to fight for every point otherwise she would hit a winner or open the court. She's a big player. I feel I'm pretty small. The women hit the ball really big right now, it's not really easy for the Asian players because we're not like the other girls hitting the big shots. I was trying to keep myself ready on the court and trying to play my game”.

Hsieh's win over Konta was her first over a top 10 player and she goes on to face USA's Taylor Townsend for a place in the last 32. Konta has yet to win a match in Paris in three main draw appearances and explained after today’s result: “I think I probably came out of the blocks a bit quicker than she did. And then, like with every match, things usually level off and both players kind of find their rhythm. [Hsieh] surprised me with actually how well she moved on the clay and also how solid she was. You know, everyone knows she's a very talented player and she's got great feel, but she was incredibly solid today”.

 

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