- In one of the most dramatic finals of the year, Hsieh Su-Wei had the match, let it go, let it go a little bit more and then came roaring back to win the GRC Bank Guangzhou International Women's Open.
Neither of the two finalists at the International-level event were seeded, but they had both definitely proven themselves against those who were: Hsieh beat No.4 seed Urszula Radwanska en route to the final, while Laura Robson took out three - No.2 seed Zheng Jie, No.7 seed Peng Shuai and No.3 seed Sorana Cirstea. And both brought their very best to Saturday's title match.
Hsieh controlled the overall flow of the first half of the match, using her very unorthodox style - two hands off both sides, mixing spins and slices, offense and defense - to outfox Robson and build a 63 53 lead. And she even had five match points in that game, but Robson stayed calm and fought them all off.
Robson would end up reeling off seven games in a row to go from 63 53 down to 3-0 up in the third set; but Hsieh regrouped, winning five games in a row (and six of the next seven) en route to a dramatic 63 57 64 championship victory.
"Laura's a great player and has been improving a lot this year, but I don't think she felt comfortable with my game," Hsieh said. "Some people say I don't often hit the ball with a lot of power, that I used the opponent's power against them and put the ball in unexpected places. I don't have big muscles so I have to work hard and do that and try to make my opponent run as much as possible."
"She's a really good player," Robson said of Hsieh. "She's very difficult to play. She changes everything so much - sometimes I couldn't tell what she was going to do with the ball. It's very difficult to get any rhythm against her.
"After I won the second set and led 3-0 in the third, she started playing well again and made the rallies longer, while I totally ran out of energy. I kept fighting but just wasn't able to hit my shots as well as I had earlier in the match.
"But the more matches you play the more experience you get, and to play in a really tough final like this one in Guangzhou is a big experience for me."