MELBOURNE, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Taiwan’s Chuang Chia-jung and Chan Yung-jan created history in dispatching reigning champions Yan Zi and Zheng Jie of China in the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Australian Open on Thursday.
The young Taiwanese pairing stunned the second seeds 6-3 6-4 to move into the final against Cara Black and Liesel Huber to become their country’s first grand slam finalists in singles or doubles.
The week started inauspiciously for the two, the 17-year-old Chan losing in the first round of the women’s singles to Australia’s Alicia Molik before tumbling at the second hurdle of the girls singles.
Chuang, 21, fared little better, losing in the first round of women’s qualifying, but the setbacks have let the pair focus on their impressive doubles campaign.
They edged past unseeded opposition in tight three-set matches in the first two rounds and gave an indication of what was to come when seeing off fifth seeds Dinara Safina and Katarina Srebotnik in the third round.
They dished out a 6-0 6-0 hammering to Ashley Harkleroad and Galina Voskoboeva in the quarter-finals before their best result so far against the Chinese pairing, who made history with their country’s first major title at Melbourne Park last year.
Yan and Zheng had been looking to be the first doubles champions to defend their title for 13 years in Melbourne but were outclassed by the Taiwanese in 82 minutes.
Updated on Thursday, Jan 25, 2007 3:01 am EST