TOP Zimbabwean female tennis player Cara Black failed in her bid to lift her fifth doubles title at the Southern California Open when she lost in the semi-finals of the US$795 707 tournament in the United States on Saturday.
Black and her partner Marina Erakovic of New Zealand, who were unseeded, fell to No.3 seeds, Americans Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears, who beat them 7-5, 6-1, according to reports from Carlsbad in California.
Kops-Jones and Spears’ foes in late last night’s final were Chan Hao-Ching of Taipei and Slovakia’s Janette Husarova, who were 6-3, 6-2 winners over No.4 seeds Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and Slovenia’s Katarina Srebotnik.
Kops-Jones and Spears were yesterday seeking their eighth WTA doubles title as a duo, having just won their seventh a week ago in Stanford.
In their two other appearances in Carlsbad, they were runners-up in 2011 and champions in 2012. Chan and Husarova were looking for their first WTA doubles title together.
To reach Saturday’s semi-finals, Black and Erakovic had scored an upset to make it through to the last four of the Southern California Open in Carlsbad.
The pair beat the second-seeded combination of American Liezel Huber and Spaniard Nuria Llagostera Vives 6-4, 3-6, 12-10 in a 1 hour 40-minute contest.
For reaching the semi-finals in Carlsbad, Black and Erakovic will split US$10 840, which was on the table for the semi-finalists.
In fact, Black (34) and Erakovic enjoyed a successful reunion in Carlsbad, winning their first round match at the Southern California Open.
Black and Erakovic beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia and Varvara Lepchenko of the United States 7-5, 6-2 in a clash of two unseeded combinations.
It set them up a quarter-final tie against second seeds Huber and Llagostera Vives who they upset before they went out to Kops-Jones and Spears in the semis on Saturday.
Black and Erakovic haven’t played together since their second-round exit at Wimbledon four weeks ago.
Before that, they enjoyed a run of success in Europe, reaching the final of tournaments in Madrid, Strasbourg and Birmingham and the quarter-finals of the French Open.
Erakovic’s doubles world ranking is 34th and Black’s 29th.
The pair have climbed to 11th as a combination on the 2013 WTA “Race to Instanbul” rankings.
The top four doubles combinations in late October will contest a Tour Championship tournament in Istanbul.
Erakovic lost her first-round singles match at Carlsbad on Tuesday, in straight sets to Urszula Radwanska of Poland - Herald.