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Will Rome Fall To China?

Unseeded Peng Shuai and Zheng Jie will take on Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova for Roman glory.

Published May 14, 2011 04:04

Will Rome Fall To China?
Peng Shuai, Zheng Jie

ROME, Italy - With Roland Garros looming, Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova continued to build their reputation as big-event contenders on Saturday, when they won through to the final of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. The No.3 seeds' opponents on Sunday will be Peng Shuai and Zheng Jie, after the crafty Chinese duo dispatched Alexandra Dulgheru and Jarmila Gajdosova in an all-unseeded semi.

King and Shvedova advanced first, at the expense of second-seeded Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, 76(4) 62. Down 4-2 in the first set, Peschke and Srebotnik won three games in a row for a 5-4 lead, but with proceedings back on serve their younger opponents regrouped and always held the upper hand in the tie-break.

The second set proved smoother sailing for the American-Kazakh team, with the first break coming in the fourth game, and the second to close out the match.

"We have been very solid the whole tournament so far," said King. "Today we were very aggressive and took the points when we needed them. We're really happy with our performance and are looking forward to the final tomorrow… and to our first Grand Slam together in Paris."

King and Shvedova are, of course, undefeated in Grand Slam play, having captured Wimbledon and the US Open as surprise packets last year. The final at the Foro Italico marks their fourth final together in their fifteenth outing as a team - and their first tilt at a trophy together in 2011.

Their rivals for the silverware, Peng and Zheng, were taken the distance by Dulgheru and Gajdosova, who had upset top seeds and defending champions Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta in the quarterfinals.

Slovak-born Australian Gajdosova was the only player to hold her delivery in the opener, but she dropped serve twice in the second to help her opponents force a match tie-break and ultimately win the encounter, 36 64 105.

Peng and Zheng will be contesting their first final together, in their fourth foray as a unit. Zheng, who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon with Yan Zi in 2006, will be playing her 25th WTA doubles final; she boasts a 13-11 record to date.

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