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By Scoop Malinowski | Wednesday, December 6, 2017

 
Su-wei Hsieh

"I really enjoy to watch the small players. They always try to beat those top ten or top fifty players. It’s really great," said Su-wei Hsieh.

Photo credit: Zimbio/Hobart International

It's a true tennis irony that Su-wei Hsieh lacks a driver's license. 

The clever stylemaster has been driving opponents nuts for years.

Watch: Tennis Meets Basketball Mash-Up

A true tennis touch artist, Hsieh delights in using her finesse, fine feel and flair for alternating loopy lobs with soft drop shots to deconstruct bigger hitters.

The former world No. 1 doubles player partnered Peng Shuai to win both the 2013 Wimbledon and 2014 Roland Garros doubles championships.  

Author Scoop Malinowski caught up with her for this Biofile interview.

Born on: January 4, 1986 in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

First Memory Of Tennis: “I remember when I play the first tournament. I was playing under the big rain back home when I was six years old. It was huge rain. And then we were pushing on the court to play because it was so much rain and it was very hot.”



Tennis Inspirations: “My father brought me in. He was very surprised by this sport. He never saw it before. He did many sports, like swimming, badminton, basketball. Then he said, I never seen this sport. And then he bring me the next day to the court. Then we started tennis. (Age?) Five.”

Greatest Career Moment: “I quite enjoy my tennis, singles and doubles. So I do have many great memories of the tennis. Maybe not huge for other people but I think I’ve done a lot for myself. Because always I was traveling myself early years, just myself. And I put my ranking top ten (doubles) – it was without a coach. And then without a coach I push my ranking to top 80 (singles). So I know it’s not easy for the players if they don’t have a coach all the time. And it’s a very difficult situation to hang in there. But I think if you keep trying and maybe have a part time coach, maybe you will wait till the big day comes.”

Most Painful Moment: “Painful…[smiles]. Not much. if I lose, I always keep myself, my spirits very good.”

Favorite Tournaments: “This is a hard question. I need to think about it… I think all the Grand Slams, of course, like Tokyo a lot too. So all the tournaments are different. All the tournaments have different stuff to do. So I think all of the tournaments are interesting to travel, to enjoy.

Because last year I was injured and I couldn’t move on the court. So I tried to help my sister (Shu-ying) play $10,000 because she just came back from surgery. So we went to Portugal. And we stayed at Air BNB and the Air BNB owner gave us Portugal wine and famous Portugal eggplant. And we enjoyed the seafood, wine and the people. And finally, of course, we won the doubles. And my sister was really happy. So I think all the tournaments, whether big or small, I always really enjoy to play, with Monica (Niculescu), my sister, in different tournaments. And sometimes I enjoy my singles.”

Funniest Tennis Player Encountered: “Funniest? …maybe I’m the funniest [laughs].”

Favorite Sports To Watch Outside Tennis: “Like all sports. I watch baseball, I watch basketball game, and I like some badminton. I like swimming though I cannot swim. I do a lot of sports. I cannot say what is my favorite because I like almost all.”



Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: “Let me think… Roger is a favorite [laughs]. And I like to watch Rendy Lu before. Because he always fights with his game, he always hanging in there with the big players. And he always fight until the last moment. So he always my idol. So I really enjoy to watch the small players. They always try to beat those top ten or top fifty players. It’s really great. (One more?) One more? …I don’t watch big match often because when I watch basketball, I only watch Taiwanese basketball games. I really enjoy small tournaments, the crowd and the people, how they enjoy the game.”

Why Do You Love Tennis: “It’s difficult, because when we are young, we, the Asian, we come into the tennis by the family. They bring you to the court, they coach you. It’s difficult to say if you like it when you are really young. You keep playing. I like the family, so I try to figure out if I like it or not. But I say, Oh well, tennis gave me a lot of stuff. Not from the book. I went on, I learned English, like this, talking with you, talking with other people. So it’s really interesting. I think really I do enjoy tennis, I do like it.”

Strangest Match: “Strange match…tough match is a lot. Strange match…I don’t really remember. Like in Nanjing, this year it was really humid. Global warming makes many places now very humid. Very hot. Like this year I went to Nanjing, I was thinking: I’ve gotta stay on the court. And I just hang in there [laughs]. Try to push all the balls back. And I win the match. I win the second match. Oh my God, I made it.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Always the cherry one.”

Current Car: “I don’t have a driver’s license [laughs].”

Last Book Read: “I always read a Chinese one.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “I think eye contact. You know that Asian girls—sometimes we are a little bit shy. So, like this, we are moving our eyes [laughs]. It’s important with the eye contact.”

A long-time journalist and nationally-ranked USTA player, author Scoop Malinowski interviewed dozens of John McEnroe's former rivals and friends for his fifth booth, Facing McEnroe. To order Facing McEnroe, which retails for $9.99 or for more information on the book, please visit this Facing McEnroe link.



 

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