Sat, Jan 27, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Tennis duo fall in Melbourne heat

AFP , MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

Chuang Chia-jung, right, and partner Chan Yung-jan pose with their runners up trophies following their loss in the women's doubles final at the Australian Open in Melbourne yesterday.

PHOTO: AFP

The Cinderella run of Taiwan's Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然) and Chuang Chia-jung (莊佳容) came to an end yesterday when they were beaten in the Australian Open women's doubles final by Cara Black and Liezel Huber.

The experience of Zimbabwean Black and South African Huber made the difference as they rallied past the rookie Taiwanese pairing 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-1 in 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Black and Huber, seeded third, are two of the WTA Tour's most decorated doubles players, winning Wimbledon in 2005 and finishing runners-up at the French Open in the same year.

In contrast, Chan, 17, and Chuang, 22, were wildcards here and playing in only their third Tour-level event together and their first major.

It was the first time that anyone from Taiwan had made a Grand Slam final and they put up a sterling fight before wilting under the hot Melbourne sun.

Proud

"We are very, very proud of our achievement, just to get as far as we did," said Chan, from Taipei. "We did our best today. We started slowly, we didn't really know their game and we were a little nervous. But we got better and better in the second set and were more relaxed. In the third they put more pressure on. We're a little bit disappointed."

Despite their limited playing time together, Chan and Chuang clearly have an understanding on the court, winning their first event as a team in Seoul in 2005 and then finishing runners-up at the Japan Open in Tokyo last year.

They claimed the scalps of defending champions Zheng Jie (鄭潔) and Yan Zi (晏紫) of China on their way to the final.

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