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Su-wei Hsieh and Elise Mertens, former partner of Storm Hunter who will return to world number 1 on Monday, have won the Australian Open women’s doubles title 6-1, 7-5 defeating eastern European pair Jelena Ostapenko and Lyudmyla Kichenok.


For Su-wei Hsieh this is her second title at this years Australian Open having also won the mixed doubles with Jan Zielinski of Poland on Friday. For Hseih and Mertens it is their second grand slam title together after lifting the Wimbledon trophy in 2021.


Mertens, speaking post-match, revealed her joy at being able to team up with Hsieh following a successful partnership with Storm Hunter.


“I mean, of course, I separated with Storm, and I was, like, yeah, I'm just going to text her and see if she's available”, she said.


“You know, had such a great success in the past, so I feel like she's someone with a lot of experience. Yeah, with her game, I mean, she has amazing volleys, and amazing reflexes. I feel like me in the back I can hold a ball or two too.”


After having a break point opportunity on the Ostapenko serve in the first game, the second-seeded Hsieh and Mertens reeled off the next six games to take the set 6-1 in 25 minutes.


The second set, however, was much more competitive.


Breaking the Mertens serve in a marathon opening game, Ostapenko and Kichenok skipped ahead an early break. 


Mertens and Hsieh, who plays a unique style with two hands used on both sides, quickly evened the ledger as the set returned to parity.   Such, however, would not last long as the second seeds executed a targeted attacked on the Ukrainian Kichenok’s serve to build a 5-3 lead.


As the tension rose with the finish line in sight, Mertens tightened on serve and the eastern Europeans immediately broke back before holding for 5-all.  


Hsieh, who took an extended break from the tour from 2021 to 2023 after 20 years of playing consecutively, comfortably held with some crafty backcourt play to once again bring her and Mertens one game from victory.  


Having blown their first chance at Australian Open immortality, Mertens and Hsieh, then leading at 6-5, would once again take aim at the Kichenok serve as she stepped up to the baseline to extend the match.   A double fault, a backhand error from Kichenok, and a routine backhand volley dumped into the net by Ostapenko later, and Elise Mertens and Su-wei Hsieh were grand slam champions.


Following her time away from tour, Hsieh says she is just happy to be back on court which is leading to a more relaxed attitude as her trophy cabinet continues to grow.


“Yeah, it's incredible, because I was not expecting anything, and I just try to come back to enjoy,”  she said.


“So for the first two Grand Slam, like Roland Garros or Wimbledon, I was not even nervous on the court in the finals. So I know this is going to get into the head of the girls, because I was a little bit smiling on the court. I don't know. Maybe the opponent won't be happy.”


Given her age, Hsieh, who is 38, told Mertens in the post-match presser she will “100%” continue to play grand slams with Mertens although she will evaluate other bigger events as she “saves [her] energy for Grand Slams”. 


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