Women's Doubles Champions Crowned, Four More Battles Left

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Women's Doubles Champions Crowned, Four More Battles Left
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Andy Murray celebrates his semifinal win over David Ferrer

One division of the 2011 Australian Open has been decided, with four more finals to be contested.

On Friday afternoon in Melbourne, No. 1 seeds Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta staged a comeback win to get their first major title as a team.

Dulko and Pennetta found themselves down 2-6, 1-4. They knew things had to turn around quickly, against their No. 12 seeded opponents, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko.

"We cannot finish the match playing less than an hour in the final," Dulko said.

Dulko and Pennetta fought their way back into the second set and dominated the third. They won 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Saturday night, Melbourne time, No. 3 seed Kim Clijsters will take on first-time major finalist, No. 9 seed Li Na.  Then top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan will contend for a fifth Australian Open title against No. 3 seeds Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.

Unlike her opponent, Clijsters is no stranger to Grand Slam finals. She has won three U.S. Open singles titles and been in four other finals.

Li is the first Chinese player to reach a Grand Slam final in singles. In the semifinals, Li defeated No. 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki, after being down match point.

At the Australian Open tune-up in Sydney, Li also came back to defeat Clijsters, in the final. I look for her to continue her dream run and take her first Grand Slam title.

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Li Na shows pride in being the first Chinese player to play in a Grand Slam final.

Following the women's singles final will be the men's doubles final. Bob and Mike Bryan are two Grand Slam titles away from catching Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde for the all-time men's doubles Grand Slam titles.

The Bryans' opponents, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, are trying to achieve a milestone as well; the career Grand Slam.

Paes and Bhupathi last played together nine years ago and reunited this year. Both teams are veterans and as the players frequently say, there won't be many secrets. I look for the Bryans to take their 10th Grand Slam title.

Unseeded Yung-Jan Chan and Paul Hanley will face No. 2 seeds Katarina Srebotnik and Daniel Nestor, in the mixed doubles final on Sunday. 

While both teams have experience playing professional tennis, Srebotnik and Nestor have more experience on the Grand Slam level. I predict Srebotnik and Nestor to win in straight sets.

The men's singles final between No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic and No. 5 seed Andy Murray has the tennis world in shock.

Fans and media alike don't seem to know what to do with neither Roger Federer nor Rafael Nadal in the final. Nonetheless, I expect this match to be filled with as many fireworks as Australia Day.

Djokovic knocked out Federer in straight sets in the semifinals and Murray defeated No. 7 seed David Ferrer, in four tough sets. 

Djokovic took home the Australian Open title in 2008, his only Grand Slam to date. At the 2010 U.S. Open, he lost in the final to Nadal, so he's looking for redemption on the Grand Slam level.

Andy Murray has appeared in two prior Grand Slam finals, both losing to Federer. I expect his luck to stay the same, with Djokovic winning his second Australian Open title, in four sets.

No matter who you're cheering for in the finals, they all promise to be to full of riveting tennis.

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