Hsieh becomes first Asian to reach Malaysian final

Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei made history on Saturday when she became the first Asian player to reach the final of the Malaysian Open, defeating Greece's Eleni Daniilidou in 105 minutes.

The qualifier will make her debut in a WTA singles final on Sunday after outlasting a fast tiring Daniilidou 6-0, 4-6, 6-1.

However, Hsieh is still to discover who her opponent will be after world number one Jelena Jankovic's semi-finals match with Croatia's Petra Martic was delayed due to rain.

Jankovic, the tournament favourite, faces having to play two matches in one day if she is to secure the $220,000 BMW Malaysian title after heavy downpours pushed the match back a day.

Early on Saturday Daniilidou had to complete her quarter-final match against Olivia Rogowska after rain forced the match to be held over from Friday with Daniilidou leading 6-2, 3-2.

Daniilidou was forced to work extra hard as Rogowska took the first four games to force a deciding set. The Greek, however, won 6-2 to progress and was grateful for the two-hour delay before the start of the semi-finals due to another heavy downpour.

A delighted Hsieh, who came through the qualifiers in this tournament, said she wanted to end the game quickly as she knew Daniilidou would be tired.

"I had to play two matches in the qualifiers so I knew how physically tired she would be playing back-to-back matches (in this weather)," said the 26-year-old, who won her first junior title on Malaysian soil 12 years ago.

"I have never played a five-hour match (including rain delays) and this is certainly a new experience for me. I'm delighted to have come up from the qualifiers to reach the final."

Hsieh raced to a quick lead after breaking Daniilidou's serve three times in the opening set but suffered a case of nerves in the second when she lost the first three games.

"I was thinking too much and made too many errors at the start of the second set," she said.

"In a way, the rain came to my rescue and after the 75 minute rain-delay, I was more focused and while I lost that set, I had gained my momentum back."

Earlier Saturday, Jankovic reached the semi-finals without having to pick up her racquet after Japan's Ayumi Morita pulled out injured, the second withdrawal in two days.

Top seed and world number five Agnieszka Radwanska pulled out Friday due to injury after a string of rain delays caused a schedule pile-up that forced her to face two opponents the day before.

Morita, who survived a tough second round match against compatriot Misaki Doi on Thursday, said: "My shoulder had been giving me a problem since two days ago when I played Misaki."

"I don't know much about the injury, except that it's painful. I will take a few days off before deciding if I will enter the next tournament," she added.

"I enjoy playing in Malaysia as there are many Japanese fans and I hope to be back for the fourth time next year."

  • Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners 30 minutes ago
    Peeling out at Octane Academy, the free driving school for Ford ST owners

    Buyers of Ferraris or Jaguars are used to perks from manufacturers – including racetrack lessons to help master their exotic machines. But for enthusiasts on a tighter budget, the Ford ST Octane Academy might be the sweetest deal in motoring: Buy a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST hatchback, and the reward is a free day of training at one of America’s longest, most-lavish road courses.

  • Why you can't buy America's greenest car 3 hours ago
    Why you can't buy America's greenest car

    Ask me or any auto expert what's the fastest car you can buy for any given amount, and we could easily cough up several options. Same for most luxurious, or off-roadable, or any other measurement. Yet there's one type of question that's far harder to answer: What's the greenest, most environmentally friendly car you can buy today?

  • Audi TT Offroad concept debuts as a 124-mpg hybrid with wireless charging 4 hours ago
    Audi TT Offroad concept debuts as a 124-mpg hybrid with wireless charging

    The TT. Audi's diminutive sports car. Since production began in 1998, the two-door coupe has aged with the pugnacity of a grizzled New Yorker, but not in size. And why would it, as the arrival of the TT RS proved, adding some grit makes for a rather captivating dish. And so you'll excuse us for being puzzled by the Audi TT Offroad concept.

  • Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia
    Pirates kidnap three on Singapore tanker off Malaysia

    Armed pirates boarded a Singapore-managed oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, kidnapping three Indonesian crew and stealing some of the vessel's shipment of diesel fuel, the International Maritime Bureau said Wednesday. The attack occurred early Tuesday off Malaysia's west coast, said Noel Choong, head of IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre. The diesel oil tanker was believed to be en route to Myanmar. "IMB is aware of the attack on the Singapore-managed ship in the Malacca Straits.

  • McDonald's Hello Kitty sale site temporarily suspended due to fresh wave of Kitty mania
    McDonald's Hello Kitty sale site temporarily suspended due to fresh wave of Kitty mania

    It may not be safe to enter a McDonald’s restaurant in Singapore on Mondays starting 28 April. To celebrate the iconic Japanese character Hello Kitty’s 40th anniversary, the fast food chain announced last Friday that it would be releasing a new collection of Hello Kitty toys in McDonald’s restaurants island wide next Monday.

  • First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy
    First sign of S.Korea ferry disaster was call from a frightened boy

    He called the emergency 119 number which put him through to the fire service, which in turn forwarded him to the coastguard two minutes later. That was followed by about 20 other calls from children on board the ship to the emergency number, a fire service officer told Reuters.