Peng & Hsieh Rekindle 2009 Magic
Published May 19, 2013 12:01
ROME, Italy - Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai capped a perfect week at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Sunday, edging Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in a match tie-break to win their first WTA doubles title since a magical 2009 season that saw them win three Premier-level doubles titles together.
Though they were unseeded in the draw, Hsieh and Peng were on everyone's radar - they had won four titles together before, a smaller one at Bali in 2008 and three big ones at Sydney, Rome and Beijing in 2009. And they brought their best throughout the week, taking out No.4 seeds Liezel Huber and María José Martínez Sánchez and No.2 seeds Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik.
They had defeated Errani and Vinci before - just a few months ago at Indian Wells, actually - and they pulled it out again, coming back from a set down to take out the No.1 seeds, 46 63 108.
"We were a little bit tight at the beginning of the match," Peng said. "We played some really close matches with them before and knew they were a really good team. Also this time was in Italy and it's their home country. And this was our first time playing on the center court this week, and it is really different from the outside courts. So we missed a couple of shots at the start of the match.
"We just tried to fight after we lost the first set. After we won the second set the tie-break went really fast and we weren't thinking too much. When we got to 8-3 we knew we just needed a few more points. They were fighting too, coming back to 8-7, but we fought for every point and got the win."
"Even though the crowd wasn't really for us, they were very loud out there and we really enjoyed the atmosphere," Hsieh added. "It's more exciting to play in front of such an enthusiastic crowd."
Hsieh and Peng now have five WTA doubles titles as a team and even more individually - Hsieh now has 10, Peng eight. Peng has three doubles titles in Rome, having won here in 2011 with Zheng Jie.
"I really like Rome," Peng said. "There's a lot of history here. Usually I can't go anywhere during the day but after dinner I like to walk around a little bit. To me there are still a lot of things to discover. And that's not all - the crowd is great, whether they're for you or not, and I also love the food."
"Maybe they can make the tournament two weeks so we can enjoy the city more," Hsieh joked.
So what's next for the Taiwanese-Chinese combination? "We're going to play the French Open together next week," Peng said. "And then we're going to try to play the rest of the year together."