AFTER an encouraging showing on the clay at Roland Garros in France, Zimbabwe’s leading female tennis player Cara Black continued with her good form after cruising to the quarter-finals of the $235 000 Aegon Classic at the Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham on Monday night.
Report by Daniel Nhakaniso
The 2013 Aegon Classic is a women’s tennis tournament on the WTA Tour played on outdoor grass courts and is used by most professionals to prepare for the third Grand Slam of the year — the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Club.
Black and her playing partner Marina Erakovic from New Zealand ensured their preparations for Wimbledon started on a positive note as they eased into the quarter-finals with a straight sets 6-4, 6-2 win over Lisa Raymond of the US and Briton Laura Robson in 64 minutes.
Black and Erakovic secured the sole break in the first set and then broke the serve of their opponents twice in the second set to seal a deserved victory.
The Zimbabwe/New Zealand combination will be hoping to continue with their fine run which has seen them reach two finals in the last month as well as advancing to the quarter-finals of the French Open.
Black and her seasoned partner, Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan also reached the semifinals of the mixed doubles at Roland Garros recently.
Another good run in Birmingham would put them in good stead ahead of Wimbledon where Black has claimed three women’s doubles titles in 2007, 2005 and 2007.
Black (34), a former Zimbabwe sportswoman of the year has also won two mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon in 2004 and 2010.
The unseeded pair will now face tournament second seeds Hao-Ching Chan of Taipei and Black’s former longtime playing partner Liezel Huber of the United States in the quarterfinals of the Aegon Classic.
Wimbledon which used to be Black’s favourite hunting ground during the peak of her powers begins on June 24.