“Probably Going to Smash Me”: Hsieh Su-wei Wary of Naomi Osaka Challenge at Australian Open 2021

Published 02/14/2021, 3:00 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 14, 2021 Japan’s Naomi Osaka in action during her fourth round match against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza REUTERS/Loren Elliott

High on belief and punching way above her weight in the women’s game, Hsieh Su-wei has opened up on her quarter-final meeting with World Number 3 Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open on Monday.


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The 71st-ranked player caused one of the biggest upsets of the tournament by dumping 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu out of Melbourne Park and will have little to lose going into the last-eight tie.

Osaka a “very good player”, says Hsieh Su-wei


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Speaking to reporters ahead of the showdown on Monday, Su-wei lavished praise on her Japanese opponent, calling her a “very good player”.

Though struggling with her English, she left little doubt on how she rates her more illustrious and accomplished rival ahead of the last-eight battle.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 10, 2021 Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh in action during her second round match against Canada’s Bianca Andreescu REUTERS/Jaimi Joy

“Anyone play her, they will get troubles,” was her short but loaded statement on her opponent’s game ahead of the quarter-final clash.

However, she was quick to add that while Osaka will try to overwhelm her with her signature power tennis, she will focus on her strengths instead of worrying about her opponent.

“She probably going to smash me on the court. I try to play my game, do my job, see what happens,” the Taiwanese said in her broken English.

Hsieh Su-wei says she will back her strengths against Naomi Osaka in the QF

While she out-muscled her opponents in previous rounds, the Japanese had to dig deep in her come-from-behind win over two-time Grand Slam champion and last year’s Australian Open finalist Garbine Muguruza on Sunday.

Muguruza was up 5-3 and on match point in the deciding set when Osaka scripted a remarkable comeback story.


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Su-wei, on the other hand, had a comparatively easier ride into the last-eight on Valentine’s Day as she made short work of Marketa Vondrouska on the way to recording a 6-4, 6-2 win.

As their head-to-head record bears evidence, the Japanese has not had it easy against Su-wei on hard courts. Osaka holds a 2-1 lead over the Taiwanese in three head-to-head meetings at hard-court events, with all matches going to three sets.

Though unfancied, expect the Su-wei to give Osaka a run for her money as the two battle it out for a place in the last-four on Monday.


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Priyabrata Chowdhury

835 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.