LONDON, Great Britain - Unseeded Hsieh Su-wei sprung the latest shock at Wimbledon on No.1 Court on Saturday, as the wily veteran saved a match point en route to upsetting World No.1 Simona Halep, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5.
The World No.48 trailed 5-2 in the final set but broke the French Open champion in the ninth game to stay alive in the decider, and saved a match point with bold, two-fisted groundstrokes from the baseline in her ensuing service game.
The former Wimbledon doubles champion and World No.1 won the last five games of the final set for her first career win over a reigning singles World No.1.
"It's my first win against No.1. It’s amazing to be there and fight against the nerves," Hsieh told the BBC after the match.
"At 2-5 down in the final set, it was a lot of support from the crowd, and they pushed me to fight from there. She played so well. If I don’t fight, I don’t come through."
After an opening set which began with five straight breaks, Halep was the first to settle on serve as she held in the sixth game - but was pegged back to deuce from 40-0 up before doing so.
The French Open champion was unable to convert on another break point in the ensuing game, and saved a chance for the World No.48 to get back on serve before eventually wrapping up the set in just under 45 minutes with her fourth break of the opener.
However, Hsieh flipped the match on its head in the second set as she was the first to break in the third game, and held off Halep's effort to win the match in two sets after the World No.1 won three of the next four to put herself two games away from the win.
An emphatic hold pulled the No.1 player from Chinese Taipei level in the set, and that kicked off a run of three straight to her side of the scoreboard to send the match to a final set.
After three lengthy multi-deuce games to begin the final set, all breaks, the World No.1 appeared to assert her authority with a pair of statement holds that moved her ahead, 5-2. However, Hsieh kept in touch with some strong serving of her own, and made her move once more as the set approached its conclusion.
"With the 5-2 down, normally you feel like, 'Okay, you are close to finish the match,' so you run harder. You need to try to hit the ball little bit heavier. Simona, the best players, they're going to smash you at this moment. I tried to hang in there at 5-2," Hsieh added.
"I don't feel I can win this. In 5-2, against this big player on the big court, you could get smashed, a love game like this. It's not easy. I just try to run as much as I can, try to catch every ball."
The 32-year-old connected on a pair of clean return winners to begin the ninth game as Halep served for the match en route to giving herself three break points, but after Halep saved the first two, another clean, double-handed strike from Hsieh from the baseline sealed her a sixth overall break en route to the comeback.
The win is Hsieh's third-ever against a Top 10 player, with all three coming at Grand Slams within the past year. She defeated then-World No.8 Johanna Konta in the first round of the French Open last season, and Garbiñe Muguruza in the second round of the Australian Open in January.
"I don't learn how to be a giant-killer. I just want to feel free and enjoy the match. You know anything can happen on the court. You don't have big chance to win, because they're very good. All I want to do is just go on the court and hit the shot and run every point and enjoy it."