In the battle of the seeds ranked outside the top-20, the Estonian Anett Kontaveit defeated a former doubles world no. 1 Su-Wei Hsieh 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 in exactly two hours, performing an incredible escape to secure the place in the third big semi-final in a row after Rome and Wuhan in 2018!
Su-Wei had everything in her hands in the deciding set, rattling off 16 of 19 points to open a 4-0 lead and serving for the match at 5-4, wasting all that to lose four straight games and propel Anett into the last four. Facing each other for the first time since 2015, former hitting partners pushed each other to the limits in the closing stages and it was Kontaveit who had the upper hand thanks to her aggressive approach, firing 44 winners and 50 unforced errors to control the pace in the rallies and win five points more than her rival overall.
There were 24 break points up for grabs, with Anett converting eight and Hsieh staying on six, unable to make that one last push and cross the finish line first. Su-Wei kicked off the match in style, scoring three straight breaks for a 5-1 lead and bringing it home with a service winner at 5-3 after just 32 minutes of play and almost 60% of the points she won on the return.
Tables turned in set number two and it was Kontaveit who had the upper hand in the return games now, trailing 2-1 before shifting into a higher gear to break Hsieh thrice in succession for a 6-2 after just 68 minutes. The pace was very fast so far and it looked the match will not last for more than an hour and a half when Su-Wei forged a 4-0 advantage with a double break.
Barely winning any point during the rival's streak, Anett was determined to end it and give her best in the remaining games, pulling one break back in game six (Hsieh had game points to move 5-1 in front) and another one at 4-5 with a forehand drive-volley winner.
Escaping from the verge of defeat and building confidence against the shaken Su-Wei who lost the ground completely in those moments, the Estonian sealed the deal with another break at 6-5, closing the match with a smash winner for one of the most thrilling wins of her career that left her in the chase for Miami crown.
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