Cara, Mirza knocked out of French Open

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CARA Black and her playing partner Sania Mirza from India were made to wait longer before winning a tennis grand slam as a pair after going down to the top seeds Su-Wei Hsieh and Shuai Peng in the quarter-finals of the French Open women’s doubles at Roland Garros yesterday.

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The fifth seeded Indo-Zimbabwean lost 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 to the Taipei-Chinese team in one hour twenty minutes to bow out of contention at the year’s second tennis grand slam.

Black and Mirza Sania did not start well and lost the first set in only 38 minutes. Both pairs failed to hold serve at least once in the match but the top seeds were two notches better, converting three break point opportunities to Mirza and Black’s one.

The tables turned in the second set as Black and Mirza came out with the only two aces and only two winners to take points at crucial junctures. The fifth seeds got one more break of serve than their opponents to level the match and push it to the decider.

In the last set, the top seeds were leading 3-2 when they crucially broke the fifth seeds in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Serving for the match at 5-3, Hsieh and Peng got tough competition as their opponents twice had a chance to break and continue and level the match.

But the top seeds saved both the opportunities and went on to clinch the set and match in 45 minutes. It was Black and Mirza’s third consecutive loss to Hsieh and Peng this year after coming short against the same opponents in the BNP Paribas Open final in March and the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open in May.

Yesterday’s defeat also ended Black’s campaign at the French Open as she and her mixed doubles partner Robert Farah from Colombia crashed out in the second round of the mixed double competition early this week.