The 33-year-old Su-Wei Hsieh is playing one of her career-best tournaments, beating two former world no. 1's Angelique Kerber and Karolina Pliskova in back-to-back days for the place in the semis. She was the dominant figure against the German in the decider and it was the other way around today, beating Pliskova 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 in two hours but only after trailing 5-1 in set number three!
Last year in Miami, Pliskova prevailed in the deciding tie break and she was in a perfect position today, opening a significant lead before losing the energy and the drive to lose the last six games of the match and push Su-Wei into the semis.
Pliskova was not on her usual level behind the initial shot, firing nine aces but also five double faults and not creating enough damage with the first serve to suffer four breaks. Of course, she was in an excellent position to bring the match home after creating 13 chances on the return, converting only four and paying the price in the end.
Hsieh saved three break points in game eight to level the score at 4-4 and build the momentum, taking the last 11 points for a 6-4. She stole Pliskova's serve at love in game nine after a double fault from the Czech and closed the opener with a service winner for a 6-4 after 37 minutes.
Pliskova shifted into a higher gear in set number two, breaking Su-Wei in games four and six and clinching the set with a backhand down the line winner in game seven to become the favorite for the overall win now. The Czech won five of the opening six games, saving two break points at 4-1 to move closer to the finish line before Hsieh started to climb back, pulling two breaks back in games eight and ten to level the score at 5-5.
With nothing left in the tank, Karolina sprayed a backhand crosscourt error in game 12 to waste such a huge lead and hand the win to her rival who always believed in a comeback to emerge as a deserved winner. After tight wins over Siniakova and Brady, the 2nd seed Petra Kvitova stayed on the court for only 62 minutes today, overpowering Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-0 in their first match to advance into the semis.
Petra fended off three out of four break points, limiting the damage in her games and winning eight straight games to march towards the finish line and save energy for more serious challenges. The Czech secured an early break in game two with a deep return, losing the advantage when her backhand finished long in game five, keeping Viktoria on the positive side of the scoreboard until 4-4.
Serving to stay in the set, the Slovak suffered a break at love in game ten and she faded from the court after that, losing all six games in set number two to propel Petra into the last four.