ZIMBABWE’S Cara Black and her partner Saisai Zheng from China crashed out in the first round of the Australian Open women’s doubles event, suffering a shock straight-set defeat at the hands of Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski Alicja Rosolska from Poland yesterday.
The pair, who only teamed up for the year’s first grand slam recently failed to go past the first round as they were no match for their unseeded opponents, losing 6-1, 6-4 in one hour 30 minutes.
Black had been a major doubt for this year’s Australian Open after retiring from her first round match at last week’s Hobart International due to illness.
Yesterday’s defeat ended Black’s hopes of finishing her illustrious career on a high with a strong campaign at the year’s first grand slam.
Had Black and her partner cleared the first hurdle, it would have set up a potential second round clash with her former playing partner Sania Mirza from India.
Black will now shift her attention to the mixed doubles competition where she will partner Colombia’s Juan Sebastian Cabal. The Zimbabwean is a former mixed doubles champion in Australia after clinching the coveted title in 2010 with India’s Leander Paes.
Black and Cabal, who are seeded fifth, will be hoping for a solid start when they take on the pair of Yung-Jan Chan from Chinese Taipei and Marin Draganja from Croatia.