CARA Black moved a step closer to capturing her second women’s doubles title of the season after reaching the semifinals of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, England on Thursday.
Report by Daniel Nhakaniso
The Zimbabwean star, who is aiming for her record fifth Aegon Classic doubles title, combined with her playing partner Marina Erakovic from New Zealand to beat the second-seeded pair of American Liezel Huber and Chinese Taipei’s Hao-Chang Chan in a tight match which lasted one hour 17 minutes.
Black and Erakovic showed character as they came from a set down to win 2-6, 6-3 (10-7) to book a place in today’s semifinals. The deciding set was a 10-point tiebreaker.
It was a sweet victory for Black as she managed to get the better of her longtime playing partner Huber, whom she combined with to win the 2008 and 2009 titles at the Aegon Classic.
The Aegon Classic is a tournament near and dear to Cara Black’s heart, as she has been victorious there four times with three different partners – tied with Antwerp, San Diego and Zurich for the most WTA doubles titles she has won anywhere.
In fact, Black has won the Birmingham tournament the last three times she played there, most recently in 2010 with American Lisa Raymond.
“I’ve always loved the grass and it suits my game,” Black told the WTA website.
“I have played on it since I was a child and feel at home on it. Going straight from the clay to the grass is a really nice feeling actually. You have to work so hard for your points on clay and then when you’re on the grass, it feels so easy. I love the atmosphere here. I just feel really comfortable and get excited to play when I get out here.”
Black said she was delighted with the strong partnership she has formed with Erakovic and plans to continue it the rest of the season.
“We’ve been playing really well the last few weeks,” Black said.
“Making the final in Madrid and Strasbourg. Quarters last week at the French, losing a really tough match there. I really enjoy playing with her. She’s such a great girl. We’ve been having a lot of fun out there and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year with her.”