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Li/Sun Stumble to Reach Doubles Semi-finals

Women's doubles Olympic winning pair Li Ting/Sun Tiantian overcame a lackluster start on Friday to outlast Vera Douchevina from Russia and Natalie Grandinof South Africa in full sets.

Being broken thrice in the opening set, Li and Sun, whose strong play in Athens claimed a historic Olympic gold medal for China 13 months ago, lose the game 6-1, 7-6(5), 6-2 in more than two hours.

Trailing 3-1 in the second set, Sun served the fifth game and played a winner against Grandin's return to break the opponents for the first time into the match and to narrow the deficit to 3-2.

Sun, whose giant-killing run in singles was snapped by Russiansensation Maria Kirilenko after losing 6-1, 6-3 on Friday, again played the ball with shifting directions to force tie breaker when being down 6-5 after leveling the games of second set for three times, and won it in luck as Grandin double-faulted to succumb to 7-5.

Launching a strongly comeback in the decider, Sun and Li forced an error from the opponent to win the set 6-2 after breaking them for three times.

(Xinhua News Agency September 24, 2005)


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