MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Behind Hsieh Su-wei’s rousing third round victory over Sara Errani at the Australian Open on Friday was a simple plan: ‘Avoid the bagel.’
The Taiwanese surprise package was badly thrashed in all three of her previous matches against the Italian veteran and each defeat featured a stinging 6-0 loss in one of the sets.
On the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, the 35-year-old ended that streak with a 6-4 2-6 7-5 win at John Cain Arena that booked her a third appearance in the last 16 at Melbourne Park, following on from 2008 and 2018.
“It’s so good. I have a record against Errani. Every time I have a bagel,” world doubles number one Hsieh said on-court.
“Before the match I was thinking, better don’t eat a bagel today.”
Hsieh trailed 5-3 in the deciding set but won the last four games in succession to snatch victory from Errani and set up a clash with 19th seed Marketa Vondrousova.
There will be no fans in attendance as Hsieh bids to make a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final, with the state of Victoria having a snap five-day lockdown from Saturday to contain an outbreak of COVID-19.
That will mean no dining out for the food-loving Hsieh, who has a number of favourite restaurants in Melbourne.
“I’m not worried about the (lack of) crowd, I think it’s good for everyone to make sure we are all safe, to help the government,” she said.
“I’m only worried about my Uber Eats — if I can still get something to eat in my room.”
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Richard Pullin)