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Tennis: Black, Mirza join doubles field at WTA Finals Singapore

Sania Mirza (right) will make her tournament debut at the WTA Finals Singapore, while Cara Black returns for her 11th appearance in the season-ending event.September 23, 2014: Fresh off winning the Premier-level Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Cara Black and Sania Mirza have become the fourth doubles team to qualify for the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore, which will be held at Singapore Sports Hub from October 17-26.

 

The world’s third-ranked pair join No. 1s Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy, French Open champions Hsieh Su-wei of Taiwan and Peng Shuai of China, and Russians Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the eight-team doubles field, with four spots remaining.

 

India’s Mirza, 27, will be making her first appearance at the event, while 35-year-old Black will be back for her 11th appearance, the Zimbabwean having qualified for 10 straight years between 2000 and 2009 with three different partners (Elena Likhovtseva, Rennae Stubbs and Liezel Huber).

 

“Cara and I are excited to have qualified for the WTA Finals and look forward to competing against the best teams in the world,” Mirza said. “I’ll be making my first appearance at the season finale while for Cara it’s the first time since she became a mother, so we have lots to celebrate already.

 

“We’re having a great year and we hope to continue that success with a great run in Singapore. We’ll try to win and it’s going to be tough with the eight best teams there, but it’ll also make it even more exciting.”

 

Stacey Allaster, the Chairman and CEO of the WTA, said: “Cara and Sania have proven to be not only one of the best WTA doubles partnerships on the court, but also inspirational leaders off the court to fans worldwide – Cara as a mother and Sania for the millions of fans in India.”

 

Black and Mirza won their first two tournaments together last autumn at Premier-level events in Tokyo and Beijing. They’ve followed that up this year with two WTA doubles titles (Oeiras and Tokyo), three more finals (Indian Wells, Stuttgart and Montréal) and three more semi-finals, including their first Grand Slam semi together at the US Open.

 

Last week, Simona Halep joined World No. 1 Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova in the eight-player singles field at the US$6.5 million event. Croatia’s Iva Majoli, the 1997 French Open champion, joined Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin and Marion Bartoli in the four-strong WTA Legends, which will feature three days of mixed-partner, round-robin doubles.

 

Source: WTA (www.wtatennis.com); Editing by SportAsia

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