Paired for Peace

July 16, 2013 at 8:07 am Leave a comment

One story that we must admit that slipped through the net was the pairing that won the women’s doubles at Wimbledon. We were well aware that Australians Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua were the losers but had not realised the story behind the winners Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan and Peng Shuai from China.

So often sport can overcome boundaries that politicians cannot and their pairing is just one example of that.

Taiwan and China have been technically at war since Taiwan split from the mainland in 1949 at the end of the civil war. The island of Taiwan is still considered part of its sovereign territory by Beijing and insists that the two must eventually unite, even if that takes force.

Peng Shuai and Su-Wei who were born 4 days apart in January 1986 have been friends since their days playing as juniors and won the first of their six tour titles back in 2008. They were quoted post Wimbledon as saying that they do not see the divisions only what unites them, friendship and sport.

Su-Wei’s win was the first major victory by a player from Taiwan, but she felt it would have little impact back home, “tennis is not that popular in Taiwan,” she said.

One other bit of tennis trivia to come from their victory was the fact that both of the Wimbledon Women’s titles were won by players using a double-handed backhand.

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