MELBOURNE, Australia - It'll be the No.1 seeds versus the No.2 seeds for the Australian Open doubles title.
No.1 seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova and No.2 seeds Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic will face off on Friday for the first Grand Slam title of 2020 after a pair of straight-sets victories in the semifinals.
Hsieh and Strycova beat No.4 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, 6-2, 6-3, in Thursday's first semifinal inside Melbourne Arena, and they were followed into the final by Babos and Mladenovic, who beat No.7 seeds Latisha Chan and Chan Hao-ching, 7-5, 6-2.
"It's always so amazing to be back here, because my first semifinal in a junior Grand Slam was here," Hsieh said after the match, "so [I'd like to] thank Barbora for bringing me back again."
The top seeds will play for their second Slam title as a team, after winning Wimbledon last year, while the No.2 seeds look to win their third together, and second Australian Open.
Introducing our first women's doubles finalists 🙌— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2020
No.1 seeds Su-Wei Hsieh and @BaraStrycova def. Czech pairing Krejcikova and Siniakova 6-2 6-3 to reach their first #AusOpen final.#AO2020 pic.twitter.com/1tyLCeikFa
Babos and Mladenovic have now reached the Australian Open final in three consecutive seasons, winning the title in 2018 over Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina, and finishing as runners-up last year to Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai.
"We had several very long games. They're such a tough team...but I'm just super happy that we're into out third consecutive final here in Melbourne. We definitely love it," Mladenovic said in the pair's on-court interview.
"We had that privilege to hold the trophy two years ago. It doesn't feel very old, so we will really give our best to try to repeat the story and have this beautiful trophy in our hands."
Hsieh and Strycova were dominant over the course of 94 minutes against the all-Czech pairing of Krejcikova and Siniakova, who were looking to advance to their first Australian Open final.
The top seeds broke serve four times in the match, and twice in each set, and never faced a break point in the second set.
"I'm very happy that we are through to the finals," added Strycova. "It means so much for me. To have a partner like Su-wei by my side, it's something very special. Playing another final of a Grand Slam - especially in Australia, which is my favorite country.
"I'd really like it to be here. I'm really enjoying myself and I think Su-wei is as well."
Needing just 85 minutes to book their spot in the final, Babos and Mladenovic came through a tight first set against the Chan sisters before pulling away to seal victory in the second set.
"In the first set, we probably didn't play our best, but we were fighting and just trying to find a solution," Babos added. "We were helping each other, and at the end, we really played a solid match. We're just really thrilled to be in another final."
Neither team faced a break point over the first 10 games before Babos and Mladenovic before breaking Chan Hao-ching to lead 6-5, as they won eight of nine games played from 5-4 down in the opener.
And they're back!@KikiMladenovic/@TimeaBabos are back in the finals of the #AusOpen, after def. Chan/Chan 7-5 6-2.— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2020
The No.2 seeds will play Hsieh/Strycova in the final.#AO2020 pic.twitter.com/IPgi2aC6ku
The final will be a rematch of last championship match to be played in the 2019 season last fall at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen, which was won by Babos and Mladenovic in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.