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By Erik Gudris

Guangzhou Open 2012
(September 22, 2012) -- In a tense final that had several momentum shifts until the very end, Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei claimed her second WTA title of the year at the GRC Bank Guangzhou International Women's Open.

Facing rising U.K star Laura Robson who was competing in her first ever WTA final, Hsieh used her unorthodox style of hitting with two hands on both sides to take the first set 6-3 and then jump out to a 5-3 lead in the second. Hsieh held five match points but Robson fought them all off, three of them with winners, to begin her comeback as she won the next four games to win the second set 7-5.

A brief rain delay before the start of the third set gave appeared to benefit Hsieh as it allowed her time to regroup but when the match resumed, it was Robson who picked up where she left off as she soared to a 3-0 lead. The humid conditions proved to be as much as challenge for Robson as her opponent with Robson saying on Twitter after the match, "I think I just played in the sweatiest WTA final of the year."

But Robson's inability to break Hsieh's serve along with the Brit's total 11 double faults for the match proved her undoing as it was Hsieh who broke Robson twice in the final set. That allowed Hsieh to win the last six of seven games to seal a 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 victory in just under three hours of play.

This is the second title of the year for Hsieh who won Kuala Lumpur earlier this year. Hsieh's efforts this week will now send her to a projected career best ranking in the top 40 while Robson herself will make her top 60 debut when the WTA rankings come out on Monday.

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GRC BANK GUANGZHOU INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S OPEN

Guangzhou, China
September 17-22, 2012
$220,000/International
Hard/Outdoors

Tournament Website: 
GRC Bank Guangzhou Open | Live Scores | Draws

RESULTS -- SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2012

Singles – Final
Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) d. Laura Robson (GBR) 63 57 64

Doubles – Final
(3) Tanasugarn/Zhang (THA/CHN) d. (1) Gajdosova/Niculescu (AUS/ROU) 26 62 108 (Match TB)

Final Facts
- Playing in her second final, Hsieh wins her second title, having also won Kuala Lumpur earlier this year.
- Hsieh let a 63 53 lead slip away in the final and was down 3-0 in the third set before rallying. - Hsieh is one of only two players from Chinese Taipei to win a WTA title, the other being six-time titlist Wang Shi-Ting.
- Hsieh came into Guangzhou on a four-match WTA losing streak.
- Ranked outside the Top 200 this time last year, Hsieh is projected to make her Top 50 debut on the new rankings.
- Robson was the first Brit to reach a WTA final since Jo Durie was runner-up at Newport in 1990. - The youngest player in the Top 100, the 18-year-old Robson is projected to climb to a new career-high ranking of around No.65.
- Tanasugarn and Zhang were paired up for the first time this week.
- Tanasugarn and Zhang survived a match point in the match tie-break of their quarterfinal win over Hsieh Shu-Ying and Hsieh Su-Wei.
- This was Tanasugarn’s eighth career WTA doubles title and Zhang’s third.

Final Quotes

Hsieh Su-Wei: "I'm very happy to play so well in singles this season. But even though I've done well in singles, I'm going to keep playing doubles too, even more actually - my sister, who is 19 years old, is young and needs my help, so I'm bringing her to WTA tournaments with me. She's improving fast."

Laura Robson: "After I won the second set and led 3-0 in the third, she started playing well again and made the rallies longer, while I totally ran out of energy. I kept fighting but just wasn't able to hit my shots as well as I had earlier in the match. But the more matches you play the more experience you get, and to play in a really tough final like this one in Guangzhou is a big experience for me."

 

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