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Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 07:57 GMT
China claim landmark Slam victory
China's Yan Zi and Zheng Jie celebrate their success
Yan Zi and Zheng Jie have enjoyed a successful 12 months
Yan Zi and Zheng Jie won China's first Grand Slam title after taking the Australian Open women's doubles crown.

The 12th seeds had to come from behind against top seeds Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur in Melbourne after they lost the first set in 41 minutes.

But Yan and Zheng regrouped and took the second on a tie-break after saving two match points.

Raymond and Stosur could not fight back and Yan and Zheng won the third for a famous 2-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 victory.

"We feel very excited and very happy," Yan said. "Little bit nervous. Because first time in the centre court. It's so big and so many people."

Yan said the match, which was broadcast in China, would help strengthen the game there, although it was too early to tell if their win would have any impact on the Beijing Olympics.

"It will be good for Chinese tennis. In the near future, we think we could be better, make progress, improve a lot, and it can stimulate (tennis)," she said."

The Chinese Tennis Association said in a letter wired to the women after their win: "You have given the Chinese people great joy, we feel very proud of you," according to the Xinhua news agency.

The win caps a successful 12 months for the Chinese pair, who also won the doubles titles in Hobart and Hyderabad last year.

They reached the semi-finals or better at seven tour events in 2005.

China are the reigning Olympic doubles champions after Sun Tiantian and Li Ting won gold in Athens two years ago.




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