Chinese Tapei and India serve up tennis thriller
Saturday, 09 December, 2006
Chuang Chia Jung's fresh legs made all the difference in the deciding doubles rubber
Chinese Taipei won a thrilling women’s tennis team final in the early hours of Saturday morning, beating India 2–1 in their rain delayed encounter. The match was originally due to take place on Thursday 7 December, but was put back due a day due to persistent rain.
Then on Friday, more wet weather meant the match was further delayed and the players didn’t get on court until 20:20 in the evening. The players were met with a rousing reception from a huge crowd, filled mostly with India supporters had waited patiently all day, hoping to inspire their players to their first ever women’s tennis gold medal in Asian Games history.
In the first singles rubber, Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Su Wei steamed through the first set 6–2 over India’s Shikha Uberoi. It looked like a similar story in the second set, when Hsieh went 5–1 up with two breaks of serve. But, Uberoi fought back to make it 5–5.
However, just as a tie-break looked inevitable Uberoi lost her serve at the crucial point and lost 5–7, to gift Chinese Taipei the opening tie. The darling of Indian tennis, Sania Mirza emerged for the next tie and wrapped up a resounding 6–2, 6–2 victory in 59 minutes over Chan Yung Jan to square the match.
And so to the deciding match, India re-introduced Mirza and Uberoi as their doubles partnership, whilst Chinese Taipei paired singles winner Hsieh with the unused Chuang Chia Jung. A tense first set went down to the tie-break, after India fought back from being a break down.
However, they were never really in the tie break, which they lost 7–2. It knocked the wind out of their sails and Chinese Taipei looked far stronger in the second set as the increasingly fatigued Indian duo went down 6–1 with the time at 01:12 on Saturday.
At the match’s conclusion, a jubilant Chuang said: We played aggressively at the net, and stable on the baseline. We knew Uberoi isn’t very good at the net, so we played the ball a lot to her.”
Uberoi said: “I fell really sad, but they were the better team. There wasn’t much we could do. We made mistakes. It was close in the first set, but things went their way. They outplayed us, and we didn’t know how to handle it.”