Simona Halep has put on a display of remarkable tennis this year. From making the final of the Australian Open to finally winning her first Grand Slam at the French Open, Halep has cemented her place as the top player in the world.
But at a Wimbledon Championship that has proven he vulnerability of top-seeded women’s players, Halep is the latest to bow out of the tournament before the Round of 16. She would lose to Su-Wei Hsieh of Taiwan in three sets 3-6 6-4 7-5.
As the 48th ranked player in the world, Hsieh has made a name for herself on the doubles circuit. She had never previously beaten a top 5 player before, let alone the world number one.
Despite her unorthodox game that features lots of unique spins, Hsieh was able to bother the Romanian superstar Halep, getting under her skin to punch her ticket to the Round of 16.
Two of the keys to this match for Hsieh was winning her first serve return points and short rallies. In the sets she won, the Taiwanese player converted 38% of her first serve return points and won 71 percent of the rallies with three or fewer shots while serving.
But it is clear that Halep did not look herself today. In the third set, she committed many unforced errors and was clearly frustrated by Hsieh’s sneaky spin shots.
With Simona losing, the top half of the draw is wide open. Expect Jelena Ostapenko, the young rising star who won the French Open in 2016, to be favoured to reach the semifinals.
And don’t forget about Serena Williams, the multi Wimbledon winner who is sitting in the weeds, looking to pounce on her competition and win her first Grand Slam as a Mother.
Karolina Pliskova is the only top 8 seed remaining in the women’s draw. We aren’t even at the Round of 16 yet. This has been a wild Wimbledon tournament and it is safe to expect more of the unexpected as we enter the second week of the fortnight.