tennis

Defending champ Hsieh into Japan Women's Open quarterfinals

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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.

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Hsieh Su-wei is fighter and she never give up. I admire her fighting spirit.

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