Defending champion Hsieh Su-wei was just a game from defeat three times as she rallied to fend off Priscilla Hon 1-6, 7-6 (2), 7-5 on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Japan Women’s Open.
Hon served for the match twice in the second set and once in the third, but the 33-year-old Hsieh forced service breaks each time before grinding out a victory in 2 hours, 10 minutes.
Top-seeded Hsieh overcame a sluggish first set and finished the match with a 73 percent success rate on Hon’s second serve. Hon had 49 winners to Hsieh’s 26, but the Australian ended the encounter with 55 unforced errors to 29.
“In the first set … I had no rhythm, I just couldn’t get my game and style going,” Hsieh said. “But the next two sets I got going.”
Hsieh will next meet Nao Hibino, who advanced when her opponent, 2017 champion and sixth-seeded Zarina Diyas, retired from their match because of a lower back injury while trailing 6-1, 3-2.