Cara, Sarnia partnership fruitful

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IT has been a fruitful partnership so far for the country’s female tennis ace and former world number one doubles player Cara Black and her new Indian partner Sarnia Mirza.

BY SPORTS REPORTER

The two won their ninth match in a row last Saturday to win the China Open in Beijing, just a week after another triumph in the WTA Toray Pan Pacific in Tokyo.

Following this success, the two, icons in their respective countries, will continue their partnership into the next season where they have set their sights on winning a Grand Slam and be the world’s number one. Despite the age difference of eight years between the two, the 26-year old Indian, the junior in this partnership, thinks theirs is a perfect combination.

“We are playing together next year. It’s a great opportunity for me to be No.1 in the world. Obviously our next aim is to try and win one Grand Slam.

That’s what we are playing for,” Mirza told Khaleej Times of India yesterday.

The two will begin their preseason training in Hyderabad this December ahead of the new season.

Sarnia said that the reason the combination has worked is because both bring different things to the table.

“We are very opposite players to each other and I think that’s the most important thing. We don’t give rhythm. I mean I hit the ball very hard and flat while she has extremely crafty hands. She is very good at the net and I’m very good at the baseline. More importantly, our personalities match and we are very good friends.

“At the moment it looks like I have found the right partner as we haven’t lost a match yet. But it’s not going to last and now people will know our game and they will be on the lookout for our weakness. So, we have to keep improving,” said Mirza.

The combination was born days just before the Tokyo Open two weeks ago.

Mirza first approached Black in 2011 but the 34-year old Harare born player who boasts of 10 Grand Slam titles, decided to hang up her tennis racquet to have a family.

But it was to be only a sabbatical as the mother of one returned to the scene after two years. Sarnia approached her again and Black agreed.

“The last time I asked her to play she decided to have a baby instead and she retired. So, when she came back, I had to nab her. I think that worked. The only time we played bad was the first set of the first match and from there on, we kept improving,” added Mirza.