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BLACK & MIRZA REWARDED FOR CONSISTENCY

They may have joined forces too late to qualify last season, but this time they made no mistake, securing a place at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global with room to spare.


After a brilliant start to their partnership, Cara Black and Sania Mirza found silverware slightly harder to come by in their second season.

However, it was not for a lack of trying. Regular forays to the business end of the big events brought in a number of healthy points windfall and edging them toward a place in Singapore.

The duo went into the season with plenty of momentum, having ended 2013 with back-to-back tournament wins, and showed no sign of slowing down in January, battling through to the last eight at the Australian Open, only to be edged out in three tight sets by eventual champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

In Indian Wells, they overcame a number of the game's more established pairings to reach the final, only to lose out to top seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai. This was followed by a semifinal in Miami, where they were denied by the surprise package of Martina Hingis and Sabine Lisicki.

This knack of making it to the business end of the big events continued into the clay court season. A runner-up up finish in Stuttgart was followed by that elusive title, in Oeiras. But they were unable to replicate this success at Roland Garros, Hsieh and Peng once more scuppering their chances.

Victories proved harder to come by on the grass, culminating in a second round loss at Wimbledon. While the North American hardcourt season was more fruitful, with a final in Montréal the highlight, it ended in yet another near miss. At the US Open, Black and Mirza moved through the rounds with increasing ease, until they were derailed by Hingis and Flavia Pennetta's fairytale run.

The wins kept coming as the tour moved to Asia, and they ensured a berth in Singapore thanks to another title in Tokyo and a run to the final in Beijing.




 

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