(Reuters) – Anett Kontaveit brought Taiwan giant killer Hsieh Su-wei’s Miami Open run to a dramatic end with a 3-6 6-2 7-5 comeback win on Tuesday to become the first player through to the semi-finals.
The 33-year-old Hsieh, having beaten Japan’s world number one Naomi Osaka in the third round and 13th seed Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth, looked poised to add the 21st-seeded Estonian to her list by racing to a 4-0 lead in the third set.
But Kontaveit, 10 years her junior, took a page from the Taiwanese player’s own playbook and dug in.
“I was so close to being out of there so many times,” Kontaveit told reporters. “I just tried to keep fighting and trying to stay in there and try and still be aggressive somehow.
“I was trying to think more about what I have to do than about the score.”
In her third round win over Osaka, 27th seed Hsieh rallied from a set and break down but this time the tables were turned.
Kontaveit bravely battled back to get on level terms and, with Hsieh serving at 6-5 to force a tiebreak, moved in for the kill, breaking the tiring Taiwanese to clinch a stirring win.
“Today probably wasn’t the best match that I have ever played but I’m so happy to be through that,” said Kontaveit. “I feel like I fought really well and I never gave up.
“I’m really, really happy with the improvements I’m making and being more positive with myself, whatever the score is, and all these little things that are getting better.”
The Estonian awaits the winner of the match between third-seeded Czech Petra Kvitova and Australian 12th seed Ashleigh Barty.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris