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Australian Open, US Open Champs To Vie For Title

Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta will square off with Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond in Saturday's Toray Pan Pacific Open doubles final.

Published September 30, 2011 05:47

Australian Open, US Open Champs To Vie For Title
Lisa Raymond, Liezel Huber

TOKYO, Japan - Top-seeded Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond will take on second-seeded Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta in the final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open after each team advanced in very different fashion Friday.

Huber and Raymond were down a break at 2-1 in the first set when No.4 seeds Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko had to retire due to an Azarenka right Achilles injury, originally suffered in practice. The Americans have a nine match winning streak going, which began at the US Open, where they captured their first Grand Slam.

"The first couple of matches this week, we just went out there and continued our play from the US Open," Raymond said. "That's kind of what our goal was. Let's just get right back out there and pick up where we left off in New York. Obviously, it's unfortunate what happened to Vika today. You never want to win any kind of match on a retirement."

As for Dulko and Pennetta, they rallied from a 64 31 deficit to survive third-seeded Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova, 46 63 108, and advance to their first final since the Australian Open, where they won their first major and upped their record in finals to 11-4.

"We were down pretty much the whole match," Dulko said. "They were very tough opponents. At the end we were a little bit nervous, but we closed it out and we are very happy."

This will be the 10th final this year featuring the Top 2 seeds, with No.1 seeds being 6-3 so far. In their only previous match-up, Huber and Raymond edged Dulko and Pennetta in the semifinals of Toronto en route to their first title.

"They're a very tough team. They played very well in their semi," said Raymond, who will be going for her fifth title in Tokyo, having won two with Samantha Stosur and two with Rennae Stubbs. "We played them in Canada earlier this summer and got a win under our belt there. It's going to be a tough match."

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