YESTERDAY was a black day for Zimbabwe’s top female tennis player Cara Black who fell at the first hurdle in the women’s doubles competition at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
According to reports from Melbourne, Black and her new doubles partner, China’s Saisai Zhiang, were blown out of the first Grand Slam of the year by Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski and Alicja Rosolska of Poland. Black and Zhang left the scene on Court 22 with tails between their legs after they suffered a straight-forward defeat against Dabrowski and Rosolska who beat them in straight sets 6-1, 6-4 in a first round match that lasted just over an hour. It took Dabrowski and Rosolska one hour and 10 minutes to send Black and Zhang packing as they first needed 26 minutes to win the opening set before they wrapped up the next, and with it the match, in 44 minutes.
For Black, yesterday’s defeat must have come as a bitter pill to swallow for her as this was the first time in 11 years that she lost in the opening round of the women’s doubles competition at the Australian Open.The last time she failed to jump the first hurdle in the women’s doubles at this tournament was in 2004 when she was partnering American Lizel Huber.Black’s best run at the Australian Open came in 2007 where she returned to partner Huber and the duo came together successfully, winning the women’s doubles title in Melbourne and triumphing at Wimbledon.The team ended that year as the number one team in the world, winning the year-end championships over Katarina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama 5–7, 6–3, (10–8).Black and Huber have since gone their separate ways and the former has been partnering different players on the road and this week saw her combining forces with China’s Zhang at the Australian Open. And their new partnership was quickly exposed in yesterday’s first round tie by the fellow unseeded team of Dabrowski and Rosolska who sent them packing in straight sets.