ZIMBABWE top female tennis player Cara Black suffered her second finals heartbreak in as many weeks after she and her Indian partner Sarnia Mirza were defeated in the China Open women’s doubles finals on Saturday evening.
The tournament’s second seeded pair were handed a 6-4 6-4 defeat by China’s Peng Shuai and her new partner Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic.
It was a second defeat for Black in a space of seven days after she and her French partner Caroline Garcia lost the Wuhan Open doubles final to Swiss’ Martina Hingis and Italy’s Flavia Pennetta on Saturday last week.
Black and Garcia lost the final of the $2,4 million tournament 6-4, 5-7, 12-10.
Black did not partner her regular doubles partner Mirza for this tournament as she was representing her country at the Asian Games. Interestingly, it was Black and Garcia who booted Peng and Hlavackova out of the Wuhan Open tournament at the semi-final stage.
In qualifying for the finals, the Singapore qualifiers Black and Mirza were 5-7, 6-1, 10-6 winners over Kristina Mladenovic and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to improve to 15-0 together in Asia-Pacific tournaments.
They won Tokyo and Beijing last year and Tokyo this year to help compile that perfect record.
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To progress to the semi-finals, they had an easy win over the pair of Garbiñe Muguruza and Carla Suárez, defeated the seventh seeded Spanish duo in straight sets 6-3 6-.
Black and Mirza, who will separate at the end of the season, qualified to the quarter-final without going into the court after their second round opponents Lisa Raymond and Casey Dellacqua pulled out of the tournament.
They had also received a bye in the first round. The China Open tournament was a reunion for Black and Mirza who briefly separated last week.
Mirza did not make the trip to Wuhan as she was participating in the Asian Games in South Korea.
Although she skipped the Wuhan Open due to other commitments, it later emerged that the Indian will not be partnering with Black next season.
Reports from India show that Mirza would be partnering Chinese’s Su-Wei Hsieh, bringing to an end to her rather successful partnership with Zimbabwe’s all time women tennis great.
Black and Mirza began playing together towards the end of the 2013 season and won a number of titles on the road including back-to-back victories at the Tokyo Open which they clinched in 2013 and successfully defended in Japan a fortnight ago.