Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan upsets Karolina Pliskova to reach the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships semi-finals.
Hsieh Su-Wei claimed a stunning comeback against fourth seed Karolina Pliskova to win 6-4 1-6 7-5 and reach the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Thursday. Her victory came a day after she had beaten fifth seed Angelique Kerber.
Su-Wei Hsieh makes a stunning comeback from 1-5 in the third to beat fourth seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4 1-6 7-5 and reach the @DDFTennis semi-finals. Her next opponent will be @Petra_Kvitova or @KuzmovaViktoria who are on court next.
— Dubai Tennis Champs (@DDFTennis) February 21, 2019
The 2015 finalist had recovered well from losing the opening set by surrendering the last 11 points, easily winning the second set and then speeding to a 5-1 lead in the third. But she was unable to close out the match. The epic battle recalled their only previous meeting, in Miami last season, when Hsieh recovered from 3-5 to take the final set to a tiebreak, saving six match points before Pliskova claimed the tightest of victories.
Hsieh’s aim was to make the score look more respectable, and she clearly exceeded her expectations.
“You know, she served really big. She makes aces almost every game. It was not easy to come back,” she said after reaching the biggest semi-final of her career. “I say to myself, ‘Okay, if she doesn’t ace me, I hit ball, hit so much harder than before, then she cannot hit a winner. I have chance to win little bit more games, then the score doesn’t look too bad’.”
Pliskova admitted she was tired, but also that she had relaxed too much and thought the job was done.
“Maybe I start to be a little bit more passive. I thought is already done the match because it looked like,” said Pliskova. “She just started to play well. I didn’t do anything that wrong in the end. Of course, I could do better. I think she just played well in the end, just went for her shots. It’s tough to play her. I don’t like to play her. I don’t know if there is somebody who likes to play her.”
Her opponent in the semi-finals will be Petra Kvitova, who swept aside Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4 6-0 in just 62 minutes. The swift victory was welcome after two lengthy three-set battles this week.
“I am pleased. Definitely more than those two matches before,” said Kvitova. “I didn’t give her any time to do her job, maybe turn the match on her way.”
“Hsieh Su-Wei produced the biggest upset at Wimbledon last year when she defeated the world No. 1, Simona Halep, and she had proved again that she presents a difficult hurdle for even the very best. We congratulate her on another magnificent victory,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free.
Tournament Director Salah Tahlak added, “Su-Wei Hsieh with her unique and unpredictable style has long been an opponent that no-one likes to face, and her place in the semi-finals is well-deserved. There is no doubt that Petra Kvitova will be taking her very seriously when they meet on Friday.”
The WTA event continues until 23rd February, and will be followed from 25th February by an equally thrilling men’s event headed by seven-time champion Roger Federer, Australian Open semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, defending champion and recent Doha winner Roberto Bautista Agut, former US Open winner Marin Cilic, Japanese No. 1 Kei Nishikori and two-time finalist Tomas Berdych.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free, and held under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.