THE country’s number one female tennis player Cara Black and her Indian partner Sarnia Mirza continued their recent winning ways in securing a quarter-final spot at the WTA Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, Italy, yesterday.
Second on the Road To Singapore leaderboard and seeded fifth this week, Black and Mirza were two points from defeat against Martina Hingis and Sabine Lisicki in their opener on Monday, but had an easier time of it against Daniela Hantuchova and Marjana Lucic-Baroni.
After a routine first set win, Black and Mirza did have to dig out of a mini-hole in the second set, winning four straight games from 3-1 down en route to their 6-3, 6-4 triumph. Their eighth victory in their past nine matches was also their 30th win as a duo.
Black is a two-time champion in this competition, victorious in 2001 when she partnered Elena Likhovtseva and in 2005 with Liezel Huber.
The Indo-Zimbabwean pair is likely to meet second seeds the Italian pair of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, who were expected to play their second round match last night, in the last eight. Number two seeds and 2012 Rome champions Errani and Vinci were expected to make light work of Darija Jurak and Megan Moulton-Levy.
The Italians’ 2014 clay court season has been perfect so far, with titles in Stuttgart and Madrid. Joining Black and Mirza in the quarterfinals were No 4 seeds and former Wimbledon champions Kyveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik.