No Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) at this year’s Taipei WTA Ladies Open. Taiwan’s No.1 and the world No.25 is featured on the cover of the tournament brochure, which was presumably put together before Hsieh confirmed her place in the season-ending WTA Tournament of Champions in Sofia.
The tourney is for the six highest-ranked tour winners (and two wildcards) who didn’t make it into the WTA Championships. Hsieh got in on the basis of her victory of Britain’s Laura Robson in Guangzhou in September and it was a given that she would take that spot. It appears Hsieh got a bit of a hammering in her round robin match against Caroline Wozniacki yesterday.
Her little sis Hsieh Shu-ying (謝淑瑩) was actually here this year as a wildcard but went out in qualifying. Another younger sibling and wildcard, Chan Hao-ching (詹皓晴), sister of Aussie Open mixed and doubles finalist Chan Yung-jan ( 詹詠然), went out in the first round of the main draw to compatriot Hsu Wen-hsin (許文馨). Ranked 483rd in the world, Hsu was beaten in straight sets by Japanese seventh seed Misaki Doi yesterday.
That left fifth seed Chang Kai-chen (張凱貞) as the sole remaining local rep in the quarters. The world No.96 seed faces second seed Olga Govortsova of Bulgaria, the world No.55. Chang, who lost to Britain’s drought-ending Heather Watson in the final of the Japan Open a couple of weeks ago, is actually partnering her opponent in the doubles.
Once again, the tournament seems to have been woefully promoted, a real shame especially as this year in became the first of the new level of WTA 125s, a new level of WTA Challenger tournaments, one down from the top-tier WTA Tour but up a notch from the ITF Challengers.
Granted, it was lunch time on a weekday when I popped in the other day but the Taipei Arena was virtually empty and, as in previous years, entrance is free. Aside from Wiki, it’s really hard to find any in-depth info about the tournament online and OEC, the sponsor, has obviously never heard of SEO. You really have to dig to pull up the tournament’s official Web site – I eventually got it through a link on the Wiki page.
The final will probably be pretty full up, if the last couple of years are anything to go by. Unfortunately I probably won’t make it for the singles as I’m working but I hope to catch the doubles (presuming it is played after the main event). I was trying to figure out how I made it last year with the Inveterate Bede but I’ve just checked and it was on a Sunday. Shame. I’ll probably go along tomorrow at lunch for another gander.
If you’re at a loose end on Saturday and enjoy live sports events, then get yourself along to Taipei Arena. Balls should be being bashed post 2 p.m. though my contacts at the Chinese Taipei Tennis Association reckon nothing has gone according to schedule so far. Hopefully it will start late and I might catch the tail end.
EDIT: Don’t know where I got the idea that the final was on Saturday but it’s not. It’s on Sunday again, so I’ll probably be able to catch it.