Andrea Hlavackova and Peng Shuai celebrate winning a point.
Chinese player Peng Shuai is on the verge of her maiden grand slam title after progressing into the women’s doubles final at the Australian Open on Wednesday, a brilliant comeback after spending almost a year on the sidelines recovering from surgery on her left leg.
Peng and partner, Czech Andrea Hlavackova defeated the Open’s top seeds, French pairing Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic in a dominant 7-6(4), 6-2 victory.
The team now needs to dispatch second seeds American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and partner Lucie Safarova from the Czech Republic to claim the Australian Open crown after the U.S.-Czech Republic pairing trounced Japan’s Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the semis.
The women’s doubles final ends a great Australian Open campaign for Peng after exiting the singles tournament in round two after losing in straight sets to former world no. 5 Eugenie Bouchard.
Peng – who spent almost a year on the sidelines with an injury and surgery to her left leg – was put on the back foot after Bouchard took the first set in a grueling tie breaker, deflating the Chinese powerhouse into the second set.