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World number one Osaka stunned by Hsieh in Miami
The Saigon Times Daily
Sunday,  Mar 24, 2019,16:22 (GMT+7)

World number one Osaka stunned by Hsieh in Miami

The Saigon Times Daily

Su-Wei Hshieh of Chinese Taipei waves to the crowd after her match against Naomi Osaka of Japan (not pictured) in the second round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex in Miami Gardens, FL, USA March 23, 2019 - PHOTO: REUTERS

MIAMI (REUTERS) - Japan’s world number one Naomi Osaka was sent spinning to a crushing loss as Taiwan’s 27th seeded Hsieh Su-wei pulled off the biggest shock of the Miami Open by defeating her in three absorbing sets on Saturday.

Hsieh came from a set down to prevail 4-6 7-6(4) 6-3 as her unorthodox style frustrated, perplexed and finally wore down the U.S. and Australian Open champion.

The stunning upset came after the tournament had earlier lost its eight-times champion Serena Williams.

The great American player withdrew with a left knee injury, the second consecutive WTA event which she has been forced to abandon following her retirement from last week’s tournament in Indian Wells with a viral illness.

Hsieh had lost her two previous matches with Osaka, including another hard-fought contest in Melbourne in January, but came back from a break down in each of the last two sets, saving eight of the 12 break points she faced.

Once again, the Taiwanese player, who knocked out the then world number one Simona Halep at Wimbledon last year, demonstrated her range of clever shot-making against a much more powerful opponent to end a remarkable sequence of success from Osaka.

The Japanese had prevailed in 63 straight matches in which she had taken the first set but Hsieh fought back superbly to set up a fourth round meeting with Denmark’s former world number one Caroline Wozniacki, who beat Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu 6-4 7-6(4).

The wily Hsieh staved off four break points to grab a 3-0 lead in the first set before Osaka fought back.

She broke for a 5-4 lead on her third break point, then delivered an ace while serving out the set and looked on course for a straightforward win as she served for the match at 5-4 in the second.

Yet, still, Hsieh was not done, fighting back with some brilliant tennis to outplay Osaka in the tiebreak and strike a lovely passing winner to tie up the match.

In the decider, Hsieh claimed a pivotal game at 3-3, as Osaka’s serve remained ineffective and her errors mounted, leading to the key service break.

In the next game Hsieh had no trouble holding for a 5-3 lead before a delightful dropshot winner finally put paid to an exasperated Osaka’s resistance, sealing another break and the victory after two hours 18 minutes.

Kvitova extended

Earlier, world number two Petra Kvitova was extended to three sets before the Czech outlasted Croatia’s Donna Vekic.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova finally prevailed 6-4 3-6 6-4 in the clash between two heavy hitters but had to fight to earn her triumph after more than two and a half hours.

Kvitova, the third seed, will meet France’s Caroline Garcia in the fourth round. Garcia knocked out 15th seed Julia Goerges, of Germany, 6-0 7-5.

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