Coming into the 2024 season, Hsieh Su-wei had won six Grand Slam titles in women's doubles but none in mixed doubles. At the first Grand Slam event of this year, though, Hsieh got her mixed doubles Grand Slam trophy at last.
No.3 seeds Hsieh of Chinese Taipei and Jan Zielinski of Poland squeaked out a nail-biting win in Friday's Australian Open mixed doubles final, outlasting No.2 seeds Desirae Krawczyk of the United States and Neal Skupski of Great Britain 6-7(5), 6-4, [11-9] in just under two hours.
"It was exciting and my partner is very good," Hsieh said in the champions' press conference. "I know he's very good from the baseline, at the net, and the serve. I just need to do my stuff to put the ball inside the court and pass the net person. This is my job, very clear. He's doing his job so I'm doing my job and we're doing good."
Hsieh and Zielinski teamed up at nearly the last minute this fortnight, and it paid off with the title. "When I saw Su-wei's name on the looking list, I was like, 'Oh, actually, this could be the best partner I ever had,'" Zielinski said.
"It's a great feeling. I'm very happy I was able to do it with such a legend on court and magician. Yeah, it was a great run."
On Rod Laver Arena, Hsieh and Zielinski fought back from a set and a break down at 7-6, 4-2, reeling off four games in a row to steal the second set and line up a decisive match-tiebreak.
Hsieh and Zielinski then led 4-0 and 6-2 in the breaker, but Krawczyk and Skupski made a furious comeback and returned to level footing. Krawczyk and Skupski even held a championship point at 9-8 after two consecutive aces by Skupski.
However, a pair of overhead winners, one each by Hsieh and Zielinski, gave their team a championship point at 10-9, which they converted after a netted volley by Skupski. The champions finished the match with 22 winners to their opponents' 19.
Hsieh could further increase her Grand Slam title total later this weekend -- she is also in the women's doubles final alongside Elise Mertens. The 38-year-old Hsieh has won four Wimbledon titles and two Roland Garros titles, but she is seeking her first Australian Open title in women's doubles.
It is the first Grand Slam title in any discipline for 27-year-old Zielinski, who was runner-up at last year's Australian Open in men's doubles partnering Hugo Nys. Zielinski is the first Polish player to win a Grand Slam mixed doubles title.
Krawczyk was a point away from completing the Career Grand Slam in mixed doubles before finishing runner-up. The 30-year-old American won back-to-back Wimbledons with Skupski in 2021 and 2022, and she teamed with another Brit, Joe Salisbury, to win Roland Garros and the US Open in 2021.