DUBAI, UAE - Unseeded Hsieh Su-wei scored the first victory of her career against former World No.1 Angelique Kerber in the round of 16 of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday, 5-7, 6-4, 6-0.
Despite having led by an early break in the opening set, Hsieh ultimately surrendered the last three games to fall behind by a set, and saw herself two games from defeat as Kerber rallied to draw even at 4-4 from 2-4 down in the second set.
"How did I win? I try very hard," Hsieh said after the match. "The first two sets, we both try super hard, so it was very close. Final set, I did little bit more. I feel more relaxed in the final set, so I gained the match pretty well."
Nonetheless, the World No.31 responded with aplomb, as she won eight of the last 10 points of the set to send the match to a decider, and ultimately sprinted away with the final set by winning 12 of the last 13 points.
"She's still very tough on the court because she can catch any ball. Even some drop shots. Once you don't feel you're going somewhere good, she gives you a hard time," said Hsieh.
"You always need to be really positive on the court and you need to try very hard. A few games I was thinking, 'Maybe I hit the ball pretty well,' but I want to be little bit safe. She come in, smash on you. It's quite tough."
The win is Hsieh's first in three tries against Kerber, despite having won the opening set in each of her previous two matches against the German, and also her first Top 10 victory since stunning then-World No.1 Simona Halep at Wimbledon last summer.
The 33-year-old veteran will next face either American Alison Riske or No.4 seed Karolina Pliskova for a place in her second semifinal of the season, and first since the opening week of 2019 at the ASB Classic in Auckland.
"I don't really win a lot of matches [here[ before. Every time I come, I win a match, I was like, Oh, yeah, I win a match. I'm excited. I'm not like winning a lot before," Hsieh said.
"I just need to try to play my game and be happy on the court, be positive."