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Taiwanese pair avenge loss to Chinese to reach Australian Open doubles final

Taiwanese pair avenge loss to Chinese to reach Australian Open doubles final

It's one-all in the Taiwan vs. China battle in women's doubles.
Unseeded Chan Yung-Jan and Chuang Chia Jung of Taiwan beat defending champions Yan Zi and Zheng Jie 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the final of the Australian Open, and avenge a loss to the Chinese pair in the Asian Games final last November.
"It was a surprise to be in the final," said Chan, who at 17 is emerging as an Asian star after cracking the top 100 last year, two years after turning professional. "It is very, very exciting."
Chan said she and Chuang learned from their Asian Games loss to Yan and Zheng, who won 47 of their 60 matches together last year, including the Australian Open and Wimbledon, and were the top-seeded pair here.
"That was the first time, so we didn't know how they played," Chan said. "This time we knew on important points where they were going to play and what they wanted to do. We tried to relax and just have fun."
The Chinese pair had two break points in the second set, but could not convert them. With the Taiwanese serving for the match at 5-4, the Chinese pair could not manage a point in the last game.
"We're disappointed in our performance," said Zheng. "Those two guys played so good."
Chan and Chuang face Cara Black of Zimbabwe and South Africa's Liezel Huber in Friday's final.
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DOUBLING-UP: The Bryans will be there, of course. And it'll be tour veterans Max Mirnyi and Jonas Bjorkman who face the defending champions in the men's doubles final at the Australian Open.
Sweden's Bjorkman, and Mirnyi, of Belarus, were the only pair who were not the Bryans to win a major title last year, denying the American twins a season Grand Slam at the French Open. The brothers had to settle for a career Grand Slam after winning Wimbledon.
Bjorkman, 34, and Mirnyi, 29, seeded second here, will try to do it again on Saturday after defeating No. 4 Paul Hanley of Australia and Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (8).
The Bryans advanced to their 10th Grand Slam final and fourth straight in Melbourne, defeating Canadian Daniel Nestor and Mark Knowles of the Bahamas 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.
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SEED KILLER: Serena Williams has climbed 77 places in the rankings in just two tournaments this year, and guaranteed herself a spot in the top 20 by reaching the final of the Australian Open. She'll go to 14 if she wins Saturday.
Williams plummeted to 140, her worst ranking in almost a decade, in 2006 during an injury-plagued season in which she played just four tournaments, before climbing back to end the year at 95.
Three weeks ago, Williams lost in the quarterfinals of the Hobart International before starting play unseeded and ranked 81st at the Australian Open, where she beat four seeded players to reach the final against top-seeded Maria Sharapova.
Williams' win Thursday against Nicole Vaidisova gives her enough points to come in at 18th when the WTA Tour rankings are updated on Monday, and four higher if she beats Sharapova, who already has enough points to take the No. 1 spot from Justine Henin.
Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam winner who spent six years in the top 10 before her injury problems started in 2005, let out a celebratory whoop Thursday when asked about cracking the top 20 again.
"I can't believe it," she said. "That's awesome. That was so fast."
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PEEPING TOM: A Japanese student was sentenced Thursday to six months in prison for secretly taking photographs up a woman's skirt at the Australian Open.
Takuya Muto pleaded guilty in Melbourne Magistrates' Court to stalking, illegally using an optical device and offensive behavior after he was caught earlier in the week taking a photograph up a woman's skirt at the tennis tournament.
Investigators also found he had secretly recorded women showering at a local backpackers' hotel.
The 34-year-old Muto, whose hometown was not immediately released, sobbed as his sentence was read out.
Magistrate Peter Couzens sentenced Muto to six months in jail, but suspended four months of the sentence for two years, meaning Muto will only have to serve two months unless he re-offends. He could also be deported from Australia.


Updated : 2021-05-14 19:51 GMT+08:00