Hsieh Wins Third Wimbledon Ladies’ Doubles Title, All With Different Partners

Elise Mertens and Hsieh Su-Wei (photo: Wimbledon video)

LONDON/WASHINGTON, July 11, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

In just their fifth tournament together, Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan and Elise Mertens of Belgium won the Wimbledon Championships ladies’ doubles title Saturday evening on Centre Court.

The third-seeded Taiwanese-Belgian duo saved two second-set match points en route to beating Elena Vesnina and Veronika Kudermetova, both of Russia, 3-6, 7-5, 9-7, in two hours and 30 minutes.

For Hsieh, the victory represented her third Wimbledon doubles title, all won with a different partner. After winning in 2013 with Peng Shuai of China, she teamed with Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic in 2019. This year, following Strycova’s retirement and with Mertens’ longtime partner Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus focusing on singles at major tournaments, it gave Hsieh and Mertens a chance to team together.

Hsieh and Mertens saved two match points when Vesnina and Kudermetova served for the title at 6-3, 5-4. Then, in the decider, Mertens was broken while serving for match at 5-3, but Kudermetova failed to serve out the victory at 7-6. So, it gave Hsieh and Mertens new life, and some one hour and 20 minutes after saving match points, they won the title.

“I don’t know what I’m thinking; I just thank you very much for coming today,” Mertens said in an on-court interview during the trophy ceremony. “It was a great atmosphere playing with the crowd again, and being back at Wimbledon it was just unbelievable. And winning … I mean, this match could go either way so I’m very happy that we won.”

For Mertens, it’s her third major title after winning the 2019 US Open and 2021 Australian Open with Sabalenka. Now, she needs only to win Roland-Garros for a career doubles Grand Slam.

“Our opponents played amazing today; it was very tough. After the first set, I was thinking, ‘We’ve got to win some points on the return.’ And we did it and Elise did a great joband the opponent was fighting so hard. So, thanks so much for the cheering, it pushed us to work so hard,” said Hsieh.

Mektic and Pavic first Croatian team to win Grand Slam title

Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic, both from Croatia, continued their dominance of men’s doubles during the 2021 season by winning their first Grand Slam title together. Wrapping up Centre Court play on Championship Saturday, the No. 1 seeds Mektic and Pavic defeated No. 4 seeds Marcel Granollers of Spain and Horacio Zeballos of Argentina, 6-4, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 7-5, in two hours and 44 minutes. Winning the Wimbledon crown represents their eighth title victory of the season.

“It’s very special. This is by far the best tournament in the world,” said Pavic, fight back tears after lifting his third Grand Slam men’s doubles trophy.

“We all grew up with Goran (Ivanisevic). It’s been 20 years since he won that Monday final. It’s the first time since Croatians winning a trophy here, it’s doubles, but it’s still Wimbledon.

“We are very emotional. I had a tough final losing here a few years ago (in 2017). We are just super happy.”

For Mektic, he was holding his first Grand Slam trophy. “That ball falling long on the last point was the best feeling of my life,” he said. “It was an incredible match today.

“The last three matches we’ve played are probably the best I’ve participated in. All of them were so close, we’ve had to keep pushing, keep fighting.

“We kept telling each other, ‘keep digging for every point, let’s not give up at all.’ Some crazy points, but we just kept going.”

Around the All-England Club

Saturday’s Wimbledon results

Sunday’s Wimbledon order of play

“Quotable …”

• “Well, it would mean everything. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m playing. I imagined myself being in a position to fight for another Grand Slam trophy prior to coming to London. I put myself in a very good position.

“Anything is possible in the finals. Obviously experience is on my side. But Berrettini has been winning a lot of matches on grass courts this year, winning Queen’s. He’s in great form. He’s serving big, playing big. So it’s going to be a very tough match I think for both of us. But I’m looking forward to a great battle.”

Novak Djokovic on what winning a sixth Wimbledon crown, which would be his 20th Grand Slam title, would mean to him.

“It’s going to be a great atmosphere. My first final in Wimbledon, it’s just crazy to think about it.

“Obviously for Italian people in general, it’s going to be tough Sunday, no? But I think we deserve it. It’s great day, great sport day. I’m really happy that together with football now we are one of the biggest sport in Italy.”

Matteo Berrettini on making his first Wimbledon final, which coincides with Italy playing England for the Euro Cup football title.

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