BY FARAI MUYAMBO
CARA Black has continued to be an island of hope in a sea of disappointment in Zimbabwean tennis after she and her American partner, Liezel Huber, won their ninth doubles title of the year in the final of the WTA Championships in Madrid, Spain on Sunday.
Black (28) and Huber (31) beat Katarina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama 5-7 6-3 1-0 (10-8) in a thrilling match.
The two have won three titles as a team in previous years, at Tokyo in 2001 then Rome and Wimbledon in 2005; but they’ve already eclipsed that this year, claiming nine titles, including the aforementioned Slams, Tier Is at San Diego and Moscow and Tier IIs at Paris (Indoors), Antwerp, Dubai and Linz.
They reached the semi finals or better at 21 of 22 events, a second-round loss at the US Open the only blemish on an impeccable series of finishes.
Black was playing at the event for the eighth consecutive time, partnering Elena Likhovtseva from 2000 to 2003 and Rennae Stubbs from 2004 to 2006; she has been runner-up five times, in 2001 and 2002, with Likhovtseva and each of the last three years with Stubbs.
The pair’s titles this year include the Australian Open and Wimbledon. It was the first time that Black has won the event after finishing as runner-up five times in the last six years.
The pair finish the season as the joint top-ranked players in the world (doubles). It is only the fifth time in Tour history that two women are co-ranked No1.
It has been an absolutely groundbreaking season for both Black and Huber, who rejoined forces at the beginning of the year and have proceeded to take the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour by storm, with a mass of title runs.Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News