LONDON, Great Britain - Hsieh Su-wei overcame an interesting stylistic clash out on Court 18, outfoxing former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, 6-2, 6-2, to reach the second round at Wimbledon.
The crafty No.28 seed caused the upset of last year's tournament, snapping Simona Halep's nine-match winning streak after the Romanian had won Roland Garros. She began 2019 with more impressive runs at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and Miami Open - in addition to three WTA doubles titles with Barbora Strycova - and brought that level against Ostapenko, a semifinalist at SW19 12 months ago, knocking out the big-hitting Latvian after 67 minutes.
Ostapenko had shown signs of improvement after an injury-addled end of 2018 interrupted her pre-season and led to a slow start in the new year, defeating Johanna Konta at the Nature Valley Classic and Sloane Stephens at the Nature Valley International.
The youngster's sometimes erratic serve - ending the match with nine double faults - nonetheless caused her fits early on as Hsieh broke for a an early 3-0 lead, and though Ostapenko brought the set back on serve, she quickly fell behind as the Chinese Taipei veteran rolled through the final four games of the opening set.
Hsieh remained in front in the second even as Ostapenko began to land her booming groundstrokes, winning a crucial sixth game that handed her the break. As the sun set on the All England Club, the Miami Open quarterfinalist broke serve once more to secure victory.
In all, it was a clean match from the veteran, who hit 14 winners to only four unforced errors; Ostapenko, by contrast, hit more winners but also more unforced errors with 26, and 35 of each.
Up next for Hsieh is another former Wimbledon semifinalist in Kirsten Flipkens, who eased past Dalila Jakupovic in straight sets earlier in the day.