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Defending champion Hsieh halts Hon in Hiroshima tussle

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In the first set, the power game of Hon was in impeccable form. Hon earned breaks in Hsieh’s first two service games, building a 4-0 lead by cracking sterling service returns at the top seed, many of which whizzed by Hsieh for winners, and rendering the top seed completely unable to deploy the crafty play which has pulled her to numerous upsets of top players.

After Hon fired an ace to hold for 5-0, Hsieh finally found her way onto the scoreboard, holding at love for 5-1. That, however, did not derail the confident Australian, who started the following game with an ace and ended it with a forehand winner that dribbled over the netcord, holding at love to attain the one-set lead after just 20 minutes.

Following a first set which saw her hit 11 winners to just five unforced errors, Hon kept her momentum rolling, breaking Hsieh in the opening game of the second set with a forehand return winner on break point. Hsieh, however, finally broke Hon for the first time in the clash, leveling the set at 2-2 as the Australian’s unforced error count began to mount.