MELBOURNE, Australia – The tennis court becomes a fun home mirror when player Heshe Su-wee across the net is the queen of overhead drop shots, with wicked spine, clever angles and two shots from both sides to drive her opponents away. Can.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka listened on Sunday, saying that her reward for winning two matches against Garbine Muguruza was a meeting with Hsieh, who made her place in the quarter-finals, while Osaka solved the problem. Was struggling to do. She was Muguruza.
2019 champion Osaka said, “She is one of those players who, for me, if it was a video game, I would like to choose her character to play her.” “Because my mind cannot fathom those choices when it is in court.”
“He doesn’t enjoy playing, but it’s really fun to watch,” said 23-year-old Osaka.
The 35-year-old Hasheh is more adept at doubles, where he and his partner Barbora Strycova reached Melbourne Park as the top seed and were eliminated in the second round. A three-time Grand Slam champion in doubles, Haesch did not make it to the quarter-finals in singles in 37 former Grand Slam singles main draws.
“He’s probably going to rob me in court,” Hsieh said cheerfully. “I try to play my game, do my work, see what happens.”
In his mid-day match played in bright sunlight, Hsieh earned three break points in the first set. She was not able to convert any of them, and after getting out of those tight spots Osaka rolled in a 6–2, 6–2 victory in 66 minutes.
Hsieh has a relaxed happy face, but behind the smile is a steely contestant. He has played Osaka five times, and has three sets in four matches, including Hsieh’s lone win in the third round in Miami in 2019, when Osaka was ranked No. 1 in the world.
Asked what challenge Hesih plays, Osaka said, “Have you seen his play?” She laughed. “Is it like that?”
He said, “I know that for me, whenever I play her I have to expect everything.”
The exhibit between Taiwan’s Hasheh and Japan’s Osaka is a study in contrasts. Osaka builds momentum and Hsieh redirects it. Osaka is a marketing magnet who added Louis Vuitton, Tag Heuer and Workday ahead of the Australian Open to its support portfolio. Hsieh has no sponsor, partly by design.
“I’ll be simple,” said Hsieh, whose tournament routine of shopping to wear discounted tennis has been modified by the statewide lockout established last week.
As embodied by Osaka, Shakti Khel is in vogue. But Heshih’s more sophisticated style will never go out of fashion. He is an artist who turns convention over his head with an unusual vision that gives shape to the court, the way a bundt pan shapes the batter that is inserted into it.
“I think he has incredible hands and incredible eyes,” said Serena Williams coach Patrick Mauretoglou. “He sees the ball very quickly, looking and guessing a lot.”
So he has such an economy of movement, he said, “and why it is difficult to play.”
For the past three weeks, the difficult task of preparing Cunning Heishi for his matches has fallen to Andrew Whittington, who reached the semi-finals in the men’s doubles at the 2017 Australian Open and placed in the top 200 in singles.
In a sunny Monday on Court 17, hardening against the tram tracks on the eastern perimeter of the field, Whittington spent close to an hour doing the hard, flat, well-done Hsieh which is Osaka’s signature.
Hesih’s coach, Paul McNamee, instructed Whittington to hold anything back. After Hesih failed to regain her racket with a backhand ball, McMane edged off Haseeh and said that she would be looking to get a lot more from Osaka.
Hsieh shook his head completely. Seconds later, he took a ball off the court with his racket, turned it back into the net and hit a no-shot rainbow shot back to Whittington, who could only laugh.
McNamee described Hesih as an independent soul and said: “You don’t want to box that feeling. You got it to get up and be free. “
Laughing, McNamee said, “I’ve learned the joy of silence while working with Su-Way.”
During the last few minutes of hourly practice, Whittington tackled Hesih, including some underhand. He was more prepared for those who differed from the question he had at the end of the drill.
“Is my service too slow?” he said.
This was a rare example when she was not joking. Sensing Hesih’s vulnerability, Whittington hurried away to assure her that her service was fine. Like the rest of the arrows in his quiver, it is deceptively sharp. Hsieh has held 71 percent of his first serves to play in this tournament.
His culpability, said Hesieh, is his innocence, “which is what makes him so unique and so great to work with,” Whiting said.
Hington brought more tennis rackets to the hitting session than Hingih, who usually travels with one. The ball finds a sweet spot on his racket with regularity, McNamee said, adding that Hesih remained unbroken for three years.
An entertainer who produces his racket like a magician, Hsieh regrets that the lockdown will shut down fans from Wednesday – and maybe now.
“I think I’m the only one, enjoy, try to stay positive,” she said. “If I don’t win, I hope the quarantine ends very soon, so I can go out to enjoy myself a little bit.”
Even if Osaka comes away with a win, he doubts it will be pleasant. Osaka defeated Heshih 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 in the third round of the 2019 Australian Open.
This is not a happy memory.
Osaka said, “I remember, like, a lot of emotions just because I felt that when I was playing him there weren’t a lot of things that I could control.”
This is Hsieh’s greatest strength. She can make the best, most powerful players feel helpless, and on Tuesday for a few games in the first set, she had Osaka back on her heel.