World No.24 Hsieh Su-Wei has been enjoying a stellar period in her career and the Chinese Taipei veteran often mentions her boyfriend Frederic Aniere as part of the reason she’s happy and successful on the WTA tour. How did they hook up? What’s his role in her tennis team? Let’s learn in this latest addition to my WTA Players and their Love Partners series.
The 33-year-old Hsieh met Aniere three years ago in Paris. In one interview, Hsieh explained how they met:
In Taiwan we don’t have a professional tennis court so I always travelling to somewhere to practice with my coach and then my friend last year she introduced me to her friend. She said ‘oh I have a friend in Paris he can take you out for fun’ and then we just go out to eat, with my team not just me, and then things work. And now I am living with him in Paris.
After about a year of dating, Frederic gave up his eight-year real estate career to travel full-time with his girlfriend. He used to play tennis recreationally and grew up near Roland Garros, the tournament Hsieh won in doubles with Peng Shuai in 2014.
It was Peng who attributed her doubles partner’s accomplishments to the “power of love” when Hsieh, then ranked 109th, upset seventh seed Johanna Konta in the first round of the 2017 French Open.
While the former doubles world No.1 Hsieh glorifies Aniere’s role in her career, he sees himself predominantly as moral support, as we can conclude from his interview during the 2019 Miami Open, after his girlfriend upset top-ranked Naomi Osaka in the third round:
She knows a lot about tennis. She doesn’t necessarily need someone to tell her what she has to do, because she knows exactly what she has to do herself. I’m just here to give her confidence, to have a good time together, and that’s it. Of course, we talk about tennis, but she knows what she has to do.
Tomorrow afternoon at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, world No.1 Naomi Osaka opens her claycourt season against the last player that beat her — Hsieh Su-Wei. It will be their third meeting this year, the first ever on clay, and all of their encounters have been three-setters.