January 20, 2019

After her third round match was over, the 2018 US Open Champion Naomi Osaka threw in the towel.

Into the stands that is.

That’s where she softly threw it twice because the first time it fell back onto the court.

The winners throw towels, wrist bands, tennis balls and hats into the stands after their victory.

Sometimes racquets too. Gently. So that they stay in the stands and in the hands of the fortunate fans.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

Naomi knows that all too well because thankfully she didn’t throw in the towel during her match against Hsieh Su-Wei when she easily could have.

More than once.

Naomi screamed, threw her racquet (not gently), fell to her knees and fell to the ground seemingly twisting her ankle as she mightily struggled but eventually prevailed over 28th-seeded Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan, who at one point led 7-5, 4-2.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com article, Hindustan Times photo credit

We can’t believe it. The unbelievably sweet Naomi who is the epitome of self-control even received a code violation for her outburst.

As the number four seed, she eventually won 5-7, 6-4, 6-1.

We’ve seen players like Hsieh Su-Wei play before. In fact we’ve seen Hsieh Su-Wei play before.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com article, WTA Tour photo credit

Against a top player.

A top player who she frustrated and almost beat, but didn’t.

Our Taiwanese star has a very unorthodox game.

That our friends is a euphemism.

One reporter described it as crazy. Crazy good we might add. Drives people crazy too.

Especially top players with a lot at stake.

Like Naomi.

They might describe it as annoying, agitating, aggravating, irritating and frustrating. Not necessarily in that order or in the English language but it pretty much deciphers the same.

Before and after they throw their racquet (not gently).

Hsieh can stand in one spot to return your ball, without turning her body so you have absolutely no idea where she is going to hit it and……

WHAP! The ball flies in a straight line to the right side of the court while you are flat footed on the left side.

Like Naomi was. Very often.

She can drive you to the back of the baseline with some penetrating shots and as you’re almost ready to trip over the ball person at the back of the wall…

She’ll drop shot you.

Grrrrrr!

Hey, that sounded like Naomi. In English.

You can hit a blazing ground stroke towards her and she’ll slice it back over the net traveling at about 25 miles per hour so that you can’t get any rhythm over and over and over and…

Just when you think you’ve got her pinned at the baseline and race in to volley and knock off one those slow motion slicers…

She lobs it over your head.

Not only was Naomi saying grrrrrrr, but probably a few other choice words too. In Japanese.

We were afraid for Naomi. We had not seen her like this before. Even in her earlier years when she allowed Madison Keys to come from way behind and defeat her. It was enough to make her cry.

This match was enough to make her scream. Really loud. In English and Japanese. Maybe a little Haitian too.

Objective as we try to be, why were we pulling for Naomi? Because we’d like to see her face Madison Keys or Serena Williams again. Here. At the 2019 Aussie Open. Both are players that she has defeated before who might have a very special interest in defeating her at this year’s first major event.

Surprisingly, not only has Serena Williams never beaten her, when we viewed the records at Tennis.com, she hasn’t even taken a set off of Naomi.

Ever.

We wonder if Serena, who seems not to let any details escape her, is aware of that little detail.

Hope so.

It will most likely inspire her.

Nothing personal but there is a reason why we don’t pull for the 27th ranked player in the world or the 50th, 60th or 90th against a top ten fighter.

Yes they are having a grand day against someone like Naomi and what you’ll hear is the commentator saying things like this could the first time for this and the first time ever for that to happen.

Good for them.

They are playing way above their heads or the top player across the net is about to lose theirs, otherwise they would already be in the top ten or twenty for that matter themselves.

But they aren’t. For a reason.

They might upset Naomi in the match of their life but guess what happens when they meet the next top player who doesn’t lose their cool and fall for drippy, droopy drop shots and molasses moving slicers?

Usually in the next round they return to earth and get absolutely flattened.

We in turn get a lousy match instead of a nail biter against two formidable champions.

We won’t name names but some of the after the great upset matches were just completely awful.

In fact most of them.

So respectfully speaking, now that Hsieh Su-Wei is gone (mercifully), it’s time to appreciate her resume since she can’t damage anyone else’s here at the 2019 Australian Open.

Just kidding.

We actually love Hsieh Su-Wei.

And her drop shots.

And her slices.

And her lobs.

And her 25 mile an hour ground strokes.

And her 100 mile an hour ground strokes.

And her robotic stand in one place deceptive missiles.

Love all of that. Big time. Truly. Especially if the player on the other side of the net is someone that we don’t like, maybe easily gets frustrated or is stern, with no sense of humor and is big on being in control.

For example…

We would love to see her play referee Carlos Ramos in an exhibition match where Mr. Ramos is wearing some tennis shorts that he bought from Serena William’s grand slam of a website store.

Hmm. Puzzling.

Surprisingly they don’t fit him well.

A little too tight.

Hard to run in. Forwards, backwards or sideways which he will have to do a lot of against Hsieh.

Designed by Serena just for him.

So with Hsieh, please believe us when we say that we really do love her. She really is a nice person. Funny too. Wonderful sense of humor. Truly. Great girl. Really mean that.

To prove our love for her, here is her interview after annoying Naomi to no end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyOQUySXLEo

We’re going to show her more love. Resume time.

Hsieh Su-Wei’s career-high singles ranking is world No. 23, a position she reached on February 25, 2013.

She won the doubles events of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, the 2014 French Open and the 2013 WTA Tour Championships, all partnered with Peng Shuai.

Her singles achievements include reaching the fourth round at the Australian Open in 2008 and 2018, and the fourth round at Wimbledon in 2018 (where she upset the reigning French Open champion and world No. 1 Simona Halep in the third round).

She is the first Taiwanese tennis player, male or female, in history to achieve a top 25 ranking in singles, and the first to achieve a world No. 1 ranking in doubles. She is one of Taiwan’s most successful tennis players, having won three singles and 20 doubles titles on the WTA Tour, 27 singles and 23 doubles titles on the ITF Women’s Circuit, and seven medals at the Asian Games.

The 27-year-old Hsieh recently won her third career title in Hiroshima, Japan in 2018.

Reports are that Naomi was not in the stands eating popcorn and watching.

Though so many love Hsieh, and count us among them, we’re not sure how much the current world’s number one player Simona Halep does since she was knocked out by her at Wimbledon last year.

Maybe one day we’ll will get a chance to ask her. In English because given how frustrated she must have been that day, we suspect she said a lot of choice words in Romanian.

Oh well. Variety is indeed the spice of life.

We sense Naomi would agree with that thinking. Now that her match with Hsieh is over.

Naomi’s win was extremely impressive. Many thought she was done for.

Like a true champion, she didn’t throw in the towel. Like many would have.

Instead, she waited until after the match to throw a towel into the stands. Gently.

Like determined winners  do.

fciwomenswrestling.com femcompetitor.com article, The Japan Times photo credit

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OPENING PHOTO Eurosport photo credit

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hsieh_Su-wei

http://www.tennis.com/players/405/serena-williams/vs/1299/naomi-osaka/