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Chinese Duo Makes Wimbledon Semifinals
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China's dynamic tennis duo of Yan Zi and Zheng Jie smashed their way into the semi-finals of the women's doubles competition at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships yesterday.

The fourth seeds beat the seventh seeded pair, US Martina Navratilova and South African Liezel Huber, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 after a delayed third set on Thursday night. The match began on Wednesday night but had to be suspended after the second set due to poor lighting.

The pair next face second seeds Zimbabwe's Cara Black and Australian partner Rennae Stubbs for their place in the final.

Cara and Stubbs beat the ninth seeds, Czech Republic's Kveta Peschke and Italy's Francesca Schiavone, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 in a rain-interrupted quarter-final at the All England Club on Wednesday.

Yan and Zheng won their only game with Cara and Stubbs in straight sets at the 2004 Australian Open.

The Chinese duo clinched China's first-ever tennis Grand Slam title by winning the Australian Open women's doubles final in a spectacular victory against top seeds Lisa Raymond of the US and Samantha Stosur of Australia 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 in January.

In women's singles events, Justine Henin-Hardenne reached her second Wimbledon final when she out-hit fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters 6-4, 7-6 on Center Court.

World No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo of France outclassed fourth seed and 2004 champion Maria Sharapova 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, setting up her finals clash with Henin-Hardenne, a repeat of their last game at the Australian Open.

On the men's side, the quarter-final match played yesterday saw second seed Rafael Nadal grind down Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals and a meeting with Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, while three-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer beat No. 7-seeded Mario Ancic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to reach yet another Wimbledon semi-final with Jonas Bjorkman.

(CRI and China Daily July 7, 2006)

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