Cross-Strait Duo Hsieh, Peng Win Wimbledon Doubles Title

Hsieh Su-wei and Peng Shuai revived the cross-strait pairing of their juniors careers to win the Wimbledon Women’s Doubles title Saturday over the Astralian duo of Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua.

The Hsieh-Peng duo had a relatively easy 7-6 (1), 6-1 win to give Taiwan its first Grand Slam title and China its first major doubles title since Yan Zi and Zheng Jie won the Wimbledon women’s doubles title seven years ago.

“It’s very special because I don’t think tennis is popular in Taiwan,” Hsieh said. “We didn’t see many media during this tournament. We’re very proud we can win this tournament together with my good friend. It’s our first title, for Taiwan, so I think it’s big thing in Taiwan.”

The doubles partnership had resumed in late 2008 after Hsieh approached Peng at the US Open that September. The duo, born within days of each other in January of 1986, had last played together as juniors seven years earlier. The reunion proved an immediate success, producing 11 straight wins and two titles.

Their reunion win streak ended in the quarterfinals of the 2009 Australian Open against Venus and Serena Williams, but the duo went on to win four more titles between then and this year’s Wimbledon.

Like Marion Bartoli, who won the women’s singles title, both Peng and Hsieh hit two-handed on both sides, leading Peng to opine that it was the first time that two-handed players had won both the singles and doubles titles. Both say they adopted the two-handed style because they began playing when they were too small to wield a racket with one hand. At 5-7 and 126 pounds Hsieh, who is from Kaohsiumg, is small compared to the average WTA player. Tianjin native Peng is a bit closer to the average at 5-8 and 135 pounds.