LONDON, June 28 (Reuters) – World number nine Iga Swiatek made a convincing start to her Wimbledon campaign on Monday with a 6-4 6-4 win over the tricky Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan for her first main draw victory in the grasscourt Grand Slam.
Poland’s Swiatek, who overcame Hsieh on the way to last year’s French Open title, made a strong start on Court One with a break in the opening game but allowed her unorthodox opponent to hang on before taking the first set on serve.
Half of Hsieh’s eight career wins against top-10 players have come at Grand Slams and the 35-year-old showed why she can be a difficult opponent for the best of players as she broke back after dropping her serve early in the second set.
Moving the ball around and peppering her game with trademark double-handed slices and drop shots, Hsieh stayed firm until 2-2 before she served a double fault and sent a lob long to hand seventh seed Swiatek the advantage again.
Swiatek lost in the opening round in 2019 but is no stranger to success at the All England club, having won the girls’ title a year earlier, and the aggressive 20-year-old raised her level further to close out the win with an ace.
“Coming back at the same court I played as a junior, it bring back so many memories. I was pretty excited to play there,” Swiatek told reporters.
“I just feel like my coach prepared me really well. We used the best tactics possible for Hsieh. I wanted to play powerful, really strong, not let her use her touch and all that tricky balls with weird spin.”
Swiatek fired down four aces and won 79% of points on her first serve.
“It was basically a typical grasscourt match because I was dominating on my serves,” Swiatek said.
“The serve is that kind of thing that I can lean on when I have problems because it’s the same no matter what kind of surface I’m playing on.”
Up next for Swiatek is either 2010 finalist Vera Zvonareva or Czech Republic’s Marie Bouzkova.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Alison Williams