Alexa

Grand Slam reunion successful for Zimbabwe-South African pairing

Grand Slam reunion successful for Zimbabwe-South African pairing

Cara Black and Liezel Huber won their second Grand Slam title Saturday, taking the Australian Open doubles final with a three-set victory over the wild-card rookie team of Chan Yung-jan and Chuang Chia-jung.
Third-seeded Black and Huber, who won the Wimbledon doubles title in 2005 but didn't play together last year following a left knee injury to Huber, won 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1.
The win ended the celebrated run of the young Taiwanese team which made history by becoming the first players from their country to play in a Grand Slam final.
Huber and Black played together for the first time this year in two Australian Open warmup tournaments at the Gold Coast and Sydney, losing in the semifinals at each.
Black and Huber dominated the final set, winning the title when Chuang netted a backhand from the baseline.
Huber damaged her anterior cruciate ligament in a World Team Tennis match shortly after the pair's win at Wimbledon two years ago, and Black later teamed up with Australian Rennae Stubbs for all of last year.
Huber, a 30-year-old South African who lives in Houston, Texas, and Black, a 27-year-old Zimbabwean, decided to reunite this year. The Australian Open was the team's 20th event together.
"We've been through a lot together, it's great to have you back on board, partner," Black told Huber at the trophy presentation ceremony.
Huber's chances for a second Australian title this year ended when she and partner Kevin Ullyett of Zimbabwe were beaten 6-2, 7-5 by Daniel Nestor of Canada and Elena Likhovtseva of Russia in a mixed doubles semifinal later Friday.
Black, who also won the 2004 Wimbledon title with Stubbs and has two mixed doubles major with her brother Wayne _ the 2002 French Open and 2004 Wimbledon _ praised Chan and Chuang.
"Well done, you're a really young team and what a great tournament to make the final in your first Grand Slam together," said Black. "You're going to have a lot more in the future."
With Rod Laver Arena only half-full and techno music from Australia Day festivities booming into the stadium from a nearby park, Huber and Black broke the Taiwanese pair in the fifth game.
Huber, who had been having trouble with her serve, hit an ace on game point to put her team up 5-3. Two games later, three straight forehand errors by the Taiwanese players gave Black and Huber the first set.
Chan, 17, and Chuang, 22, broke to take a 4-2 lead in the second set, but Black and Huber broke back in the next game, then held to level at 4-4.
Black and Huber broke again in the 11th game and Black was two points from winning the championship before dropping serve again, sending the second set to a tiebreaker.
The Taiwanese pair went ahead 3-0 in the tiebreaker and had three set points before winning the second set a point later on Chan's backhand winner.
Chan and Chuang beat defending champions Yan Zi and Zheng Jie of China in the semifinals. Yan and Zheng won the Australian Open and Wimbledon titles last year.