Eighth seeds Su-Wei Hsieh and Peng Shuai defeated No.12seeds Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua to win the Wimbledon ladies’ doubles title 7-6(1) 6-1.
Dellacqua and Barty’s path to the final was not easy. Victories over the seventh, fifth, and second-seeded teams were required to secure their place in the final. In contrast, Hsieh and Peng did not face a seeded pair before the championship match.
A tight first set that saw the momentum shift back and forth between could have gone either way with both teams having set points. “I think first start we both really nervous, and then they play well. And then we get like lot of pressure,” said Peng.“So just try to like hold it and fight and then play and try like our best, because never know.”
After fending off break points in her opening service game, Barty steadied as she showed clean hands at the net and solid groundstrokes from the baseline. When the Australian duo broke for 3-1 the momentum was clearly with them but the set was by no means safe.
Breaks were traded for the next five games as neither team could press their advantage. The Australians had two set points leading 5-3 but were unable to capitalise. Dellacqua and Barty’s missed opportunities were all Hsieh and Peng needed as they fought their way back into the set, sending it to a tie-break.
The eighth seeds controlled the tie-break from beginning to end, taking it 7-1 “[In the] first set both team have chance because they have set point. We up like 6-5 and we have also like set point,” said Peng
“But in the time I think I'm also little bit nervous and miss like the volley. In the tiebreak, I don't know, I think we both like didn't think that much. We just try to play, try to fight.”
From there the match belonged to them. The Australian pair made too many errors and had three break points in the second set, none of which they were able to capitalise on.
Hsieh and Peng, meanwhile, proved to be the steadier of the two teams for the majority of the match. The win is a historical one for Hsieh who is the first player from Chinese Taipei to win a Grand Slam title of any kind, while Peng is the third Chinese player to win a doubles title.
“It's very special because I don't think tennis is popular in Taiwan. Even we don't see many media during this tournament,” said Hsieh.
“We're very proud that we can win this tournament together with my good friend. It's first title for us, for Taiwan, so I think it's big thing in Taiwan.”
Barty and Dellacqua are the first Australian pair to make the final since 2009 when Rennae Stubbs and Sam Stosur were defeated in the final by the Williams sisters.
For the Australian pair it’s their second Grand Slam final this year after making the final at the Australian Open where they were defeated by Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.
20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.
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