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September 21, 2017

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Hsieh-Peng duo breaking up 'not big deal': Hsieh's father

TAIPEI--The upcoming split of former world No. 1 tennis stars Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and Peng Shuai of China is "not a big deal and can serve as a new opportunity for both," Hsieh's father said Saturday.

The Hsieh-Peng duo, seeded No. 2, is scheduled to face Darija Jurak of Croatia and Megan Moulton-Levy of the United States in the second round of the U.S. Open women's doubles Saturday, which could be the last tournament of their long-standing partnership.

They defeated Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania and Karin Knapp of Italy 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 Thursday.

Taiwanese fans were shocked when Peng said and Hsieh later confirmed that the Grand Slam event will likely mark an end to their partnership, which began in 2009, if they fail to make it to the season-long "Road to Singapore" campaign. Only the tour's best players can participate in the festival-like event in October.

The Taiwanese star's father, Hsieh Tzu-lung, meanwhile, expressed calmness and optimism about the announcement, using a common Chinese idiom: "Things come together after a long period of separation, and they separate after a long period of being together. It's not that big a deal."

"Don't worry. It's not the end of the world after they split," he said, adding that professional players tend not to put sentiment above professionalism.

"When heaven closes a door, somewhere it opens a window," he said, noting that he is confident his daughter will find a new partner in no time.

Peng told reporters earlier that she has already found a new partner but declined to reveal her identity, saying only "(she's) not a Chinese player."

It was not the first time the duo had revealed the possibility of disbanding. Last October, Peng said in Beijing that she might not play with Hsieh in 2014, but this year the duo swung three championships, including the French Open in June.

The French Open win also marked Hsieh and Peng's 12th consecutive win as a team, including one at a Wimbledon championship and another at a WTA year-end tourney.

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