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Sports

Zimbabwe's Cara Black loses in California

Zimbabwe's Cara Black loses in California

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.

 
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