Hsieh wins third Wimbledon doubles title, this time with Mertens

Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 10, 2021 Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei and Belgium's Elise Mertens celebrate with the trophies after winning the women's doubles final against Russia's Elena Vesnina and Veronika Kudermetova REUTERS/Toby Melville

LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) - Taiwan's Hsieh Su-wei claimed her third Wimbledon doubles title with a third different partner as she and Elise Mertens hung on to claim victory in a marathon final against Russian duo Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina on Saturday.

The Taiwanese-Belgian duo saved match points on the way to claiming a 3-6 7-5 9-7 win on Centre Court.

It was the second successive Wimbledon doubles crown for Hsieh who joined forces with recently-retired Barbora Strycova to win the title in 2019.

She also won the title in 2013 with Peng Shuai.

This time it was Mertens, the newly-installed No.1 ranked women's doubles player, who she teamed up with to great effect.

Unseeded Kudermetova and Vesnina had two match points at 5-4 in the second set, the second one producing an incredible rally that Hsieh eventually won with a volley.

As the third set went on and on, the 35-year-old Hsieh then finished off a gripping contest with a backhand winner.

"That felt like seven hours," Mertens said of the two-and-a-half hour battle on a packed Centre Court.

"There were nerves but we managed it well in the end. "We are very happy that we could close it out."

Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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