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Hsieh, Zielinski in thrilling mixed doubles win at Australian Open

MELBOURNE: Taiwanese-Polish duo Hsieh Su-wei and Jan Zielinski won a match tiebreaker to claim the Australian Open mixed doubles title on Friday, with an nail-biting 6-7(5) 6-4 (11-9) victory over American Desirae Krawczyk and Britain’s Neal Skupski.

The victory earned Hsieh her first mixed doubles Grand Slam title, and the 38-year-old is also in the running to win her seventh major women’s doubles trophy, having reached the final Down Under with partner Elise Mertens. “It was a really tough match but we made it,” Hsieh said.

“Thank you so much for such a great match, it was really fun on court to play you guys.”

“We didn’t have anyone to play mixed doubles with. We found each other on the looking list and it’s worked out pretty well,” Zielinski added.

“Maybe we can keep it going.”

The match was a thrilling encounter of contrasting styles, with Krawczyk’s raw power coming up against Hsieh’s inventive shot making as the first set went down to the wire.

Krawczyk and Skupski broke to take a 4-3 lead, but faltered when serving out the set, allowing Hsieh and Zielinski to break back and level at 5-5.

As the opener headed into a tiebreak, it was the British-American duo who held their nerve.

The second seeds broke again to take a 4-2 lead in the second set, but Hsieh and Zielinski roared back with two service breaks of their own to send the match into a 10-point match tiebreak.

Hsieh and Zielinski raced into a 4-0 lead in the decider but the second seeds levelled at 7-7, with Skupski then bringing up a championship point at 9-8 with a second serve ace, but the British-American pair were unable to covert.

It was Hsieh and Zielinski who claimed the next three points, with Zielinski sealing a memorable victory in just under two hours with a blistering forehand.