DUBAI – Two titles in as many weeks for the Indo-Zimbabwean pair of Sania Mirza and Cara Black has encouraged the duo to target even more success during the 2014 season.
The eighth seeds lifted the China Open here on Sunday after beating Vera Dushevina and Arantxa Parra Santonja 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and six minutes. That followed on from Black and Mirza’s first title together just a week earlier at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
The Beijing success was a fifth title of the season for Indian ace Mirza and her 19th overall. She had won the New Haven event with Chinese Jie Zheng before teaming up with Cara, while early in the season she captured titles in Dubai and Brisbane with American partner Bethanie-Mattek Sands.
“It definitely feels kind of strange. It’s something like a shock and I don’t think winning two titles in two weeks has ever happened to me in my career so far, and that too with a new partner,” Mirza told Gulf News. “It really feels great and it’s going to be tough to up this one.
“We are going to play together next year and I suppose this has been a pretty good start to that. We could not have asked for a better start. We are looking forward to getting a good start for next year and playing the whole year through.”
Dubai-based Mirza is now heading back to Hyderabad, while Black travels home to Zimbabwe with her husband and young son.
“We’ve got a couple of months off and the idea will be to have a good off-season,” Black said. “When we started we never expected to win in the first two weeks of being together. We try to win, but that’s not what happens every day. We are going to try to top this, but it’s going to be tough.
“The plan is to do the off-season together, maybe in India, and work on things as one always has to keep on improving even if you are winning. Obviously the goal is to try and do well in the Grand Slams and that’s the next level for us as a pair.”
Mirza added: “The Grand Slams are something that we both want, since she [Black] has come back from a break to try and win a Slam. We hope to have a good year ahead and will make a collective effort to do well at the big tournaments.”
Expanding on what areas of her game she needs to improve, Black said: “I’d like to improve a bit, especially on my serve and staying on the ground a bit better. I think we’ve got our game plan down well, but we’ve just got to fine-tune it here and there.” – Gulf News (UAE)