Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai have plenty in common, for instance both are right-handed but play two-handed off both sides, and they were born just four days apart. And though they go back a long ways, they didn't pair up early in their professional careers.
"We met in an ITF team when we were like 13, 14," Peng said. "We were juniors at the time, playing a few tournaments together, and that's how we started out. But after we turned pro, we had like seven years where we didn't play any doubles together."
However, once Hsieh and Peng did team up, success was immediate. They won their first two WTA events at Bali in 2008 and Sydney in 2009. They secured two more titles that year, then after a few years of playing on and off together became a regular combination again in 2013. They attracted attention when they won their fifth title in Rome, besting doubles World No.1s Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in the final.
Nevertheless, few would have expected Hsieh and Peng to take the title at Wimbledon, which is just what they did a couple of months later - losing just one set along the way and topping Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua in the championship match.
That also made Hsieh the first player from Chinese Taipei to win a Grand Slam title of any kind and Peng the fifth Chinese player to win a Grand Slam title of any kind.
"It's very special because I don't think tennis is popular in Taiwan," Hsieh said. "We don't even see many media during this tournament. But I'm very proud I could win this tournament together with my good friend. It's the first Grand Slam title for us, for Taiwan. It's a big thing for us in Taiwan."
Later in the season, Hsieh and Peng improved to 9-0 in WTA finals with triumphs in Cincinnati, Guangzhou and the season-ending TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships - Istanbul.
"We really enjoyed playing together this year," Peng said after being crowned at the season finale. "We had a really good time together on the court - we fought sometimes, but it was still a lot of great memories, just the whole experience!"
2013 Record: 35-9
Career Record: 73-25
Career Record On Hard: 52-21
Career Record On Clay: 15-3
Career Record On Grass: 6-1
Career Grand Slam Record: 23-9
WON (5): Rome, Wimbledon, Cincinnati, Guangzhou, WTA Championships
WON (9): 2013 - Rome, Wimbledon, Cincinnati, Guangzhou, WTA Championships; 2009 - Sydney, Rome, Beijing; 2008 - Bali
HSIEH'S INDIVIDUAL DOUBLES STATS
Titles: 14 (one WTA Championships)
Career-High Ranking: No.3
PENG'S INDIVIDUAL DOUBLES STATS
Titles: 12 (one WTA Championships)
Career-High Ranking: No.4