Cara, Mirza shine in China open


ZIMBABWE tennis ace Cara Black got her revenge when she and Indian partner Sania Mirza walloped Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova in straight sets to qualify for the quarter-finals of the China Open doubles in Beijing yesterday.


Black and her former doubles partner Marina Erakovic were defeated by Pavlyuchenkova and Safarova 6-2, 6-4 in the doubles final of the Mutua Madrid Open in Madrid on May 11 and yesterday’s match served as a grudge match.

However, the game was not as bruising as had been anticipated with the new Indo-Zimbabwean partnership sweeping to a 6-3, 6-2 victory in a time of 1:07mins to book a place in the last eight of the $5 million tournament.

Black and Mirza will face the winner between Ashleigh Barty-Casey Dellacqua and Yung-Jan Chan-Jie Zheng who were meeting late yesterday.
Black and Barty – in the event that the Australian and her partner go through – will be resuming their long time rivalry. The two have met in three previous major doubles finals with Barty claiming the title twice.

There is also a small issue to settle between Black and Zheng, in the event that the Chinese and her Taiwanese partner make it to the quarters.
Black and Zheng faced each other at the 2008 Dubai Championships doubles final which was won by the Zimbabwean and her former doubles partner Liezel Huber.

In qualifying for the second round, the eighth seeded Indo-Zimbabwean pair easily brushed aside Kimiko Date-Krumm and Chanelle Scheepers 6-3, 6-3 in the opening round of the tournament on Sunday.

The Black-Mirza combination will be looking for their second title together in two weeks after teaming up for the first time to clinch the Toray Pan Pacific Open last Saturday.

The two received $122 000 each for winning the tournament.
If they go all the way and win the China Open, Black and Mirza, already assured of $30 000 each for reaching the quarter-finals, will get $291 000 each.