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Hsieh and Zielinski win mixed doubles

Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and Jan Zielinski of Poland celebrate winning championship point in their mixed doubles final at Melbourne Park.

Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and Jan Zielinski of Poland celebrate winning championship point in their mixed doubles final at Melbourne Park. Photo: Getty

Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-Wei has secured the first of a possible two Australian Open titles this year after partnering Jan Zielinski to the mixed doubles crown.

Veteran Hsieh and Poland’s Zielinski overcame Great Britain’s Neal Skupski and American Desirae Krawczyk in a thriller on Friday that was decided by a 10-point tiebreak 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 11-9.

Hsieh is also into the women’s doubles final after she and Elise Mertens downed Australia’s Storm Hunter and her Czech partner Katerina Siniakova in the semi-finals.

Coached by Australian doubles great Paul McNamee, Hsieh became a crowd favourite at Melbourne Park back in 2021 when she made an unlikely run to the singles quarter-finals before being eliminated by eventual champion Naomi Osaka.

While it is Zielinski’s first grand slam title, 38-year-old Hsieh is celebrating her seventh, having previously won six women’s doubles majors, including Wimbledon on four occasions.

It was their first grand slam playing together, while Skupski and Krawczyk were aiming for their third major title after twice winning the mixed doubles at Wimbledon.

After the teams shared the opening two sets, the title was decided by a 10-point tiebreak, with Hsieh and 27-year-old Zielinski getting off to a flyer to lead 7-4.

After levelling at 8-8, Skupski stepped up to send down two timely aces to set up a championship point at 9-8.

But their rivals kept their cool, Hsieh saving the day with a fierce volley at the net.

They set up their own match point on Krawczyk’s serve, with Skupski putting Zielinski’s return into the net.

Hsieh said she signed up just before the Open with Zielinski, who lost the men’s doubles final last year.

“Thank you my partner Jan for writing me the message because I was not sure I was going to play mixed doubles, so thank you for picking me up,” she said.

–AAP

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