Ask Hsieh Su-Wei to describe her own game and she gives you a simple answer.
“Su-Wei style: anything can happen on court,” she says with a smile.
The 33-year-old from Taipei has her unique brand of tennis and can pull off inconceivable shots with her cunning slices and lobs. But she also has the ability to hit the ball hard, and even a power-hitter like Naomi Osaka told reporters after their three-set thriller at the Australian Open that she felt Hsieh struck the ball harder than most of her opponents that tournament.
“Against Naomi, you know she’s very strong, so I was thinking, ‘Okay, when I go on the court, I’m going to smash her as hard as I can’, and I did, but finally I lost the match, but it’s okay, at least I know that my plan is working,” Hsieh tells Sport360 with a laugh.
Hsieh started the year making the semis in Auckland, before reaching the Australian Open third round and now the quarters in Dubai, after taking out 10th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova, Aliaksandra Sasnovich and fifth-seeded Angelique Kerber.
She is on the brink of matching her career-high ranking of 23, which she hit back in 2013, and won her first WTA title in six years last September in Hiroshima. Expected to rise to at least 28 in the rankings next week, Hsieh isn’t surprised she is enjoying some of her best tennis at age 33.
“I try to keep my mid like I’m 18 years old. So I don’t worry about my age, I just want to keep healthy and keep enjoying tennis, even when I lose, it’s okay, just keep positive and keep training hard,” she says, before giving two thumbs up to the camera.
Hsieh’s interviews are just as entertaining as her tennis and if you want to see her light up, just get her to talk about food.
When asked what she’s most proud of so far this week in the Emirates, she said: “I ate ilak fish. You know it? It’s a huge fish. I found it two years ago, I found this dish in a shop. And then this year I said, ‘Okay, today is a day off, I want to go find this fish again’. And I went and it was amazing, I really enjoyed it. I try to discover more food here. I really love it. I hope I keep doing better so I can stay longer and enjoy more food.”
That’s certainly one effective way to stay motivated on the court.
Hsieh has been spending more time in France where she lives with her French boyfriend. Of course the big highlight for her there is the decadent French cuisine.
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) February 19, 2019
Elsewhere in the press centre, former world No. 1 Simona Halep discussed what it’s like having so many fans chanting her name from the stands and supporting her wherever she goes.
“I hear everything, every word,” said Halep when asked if she blocks the cheers from the crowd to stay focused. Someone said is going to lose the plane tonight and I have to finish faster. I don’t know if it’s positive for me during the match, but I took it. I lost the game, but then I won the match,” she said with a laugh. “Yeah, I hear everything.”