Relief turns to triumph as doubles qualifiers make history

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Moodie, a 26-year-old South African, reached the third round of the singles two years ago. Until Saturday evening Huss, 29, was virtually unknown even in his native Australia.

"I know it's not a dream," Huss said after the victory.

Huss reached No 807 in the world rankings in 2001, but has never played a Grand Slam singles match, and he had considered retiring before the start of the tournament. "I'll be 30 in December. I wasn't able to compete in Grand Slams, to play at Challenger level doesn't really inspire me. I was definitely looking at other options."

Huss and Moodie had never stepped on court together in a tour-level event and were delighted to get into the main draw.

"It was a bit of a relief to at least make it through," said Moodie, who added that his half of the £218,500 prize cheque would go on a new house. Huss, meanwhile, will be rebuilding his career on solid foundations.

In the women's doubles yesterday,Liezel Huber became the first South African winner of the title. She and Cara Black, the Zimbabwean who won the title last year with the Australian Rennae Stubbs, demolished the makeshift pairing of Svetlana Kuznetsova and Amélie Mauresmo 6-2, 6-1.

Contesting their second Grand Slam final in six weeks after being runners-up at Roland Garros, the second seeds produced an immaculate performance.

Kuznetsova teamed with Mauresmo when her regular partner, Alicia Molik of Australia, withdrew two weeks before the SW19 event with an ear infection.