Wimbledon 2015

Taiwan ace mulls switch to mainland China

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 July, 2013, 5:27am

Taiwan's tennis hero Hsieh Su-wei is mulling giving up her Taiwanese citizenship to represent the mainland, where she could receive a much bigger sponsorship deal, her father said yesterday, after her historic victory in the Wimbledon women's doubles contest.

Hsieh and mainland partner Peng Shuai beat Australian duo Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua on Saturday.

The triumph made Hsieh the first Taiwanese tennis player ever to grab a grand slam title.

Hsieh's father, Hsieh Tze-lung, said his daughter may give up her Taiwanese citizenship to represent China in exchange for an annual 10 million yuan (HK$12.5 million) sponsorship deal offered by a mainland brewery.

The deal would dwarf the 27-year-old's current total annual sponsorship income of just 1.5 million Taiwan dollars (about HK$380,000), a sum paid by two local companies.

In a telephone interview, her father said: "It is not that we don't love Taiwan... we have no choice.

"The amount is barely half of the total I need to support the training and related spending of Su-wei as well as her brother and a younger sister," both of whom are teenaged tennis players, her father said. The remarks sparked concern in Taiwan that the island would lose its latest sporting icon. Sport chiefs there said they were actively seeking sponsorship deals from local companies.