Cara approaches retirement

HARARE - Zimbabwean tennis ace Cara Black’s desire to keep playing on against the odds of advanced age, injuries and family commitments is not going according to plan.

Black got her year off to the worst possible start after going down in the first round of the WTA Shenzhen Open last week.

Flanked by her new partner Saisai Zheng on the hard outdoor surface, the pair went down 3-0, retired to Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia, and Monica Niculescu of Romania.

Whilst the pair struggled to rise to expected heights, Zheng went on to reach the semi-finals of the singles category.

Cara, 35, will again partner Zheng next week at the Australian Open which the Zimbabwean has hinted could be her last Grand Slam, although the decision to retire will all boil down on how “I am feeling and where I am mentally,” she told the Daily News last November.

The women’s doubles draw of one of the premier events for the tennis community will be held on January 19.

The young sister of iconic brothers Byron and Wayne has been contemplating pulling the curtain down on her illustrious career since clinching the WTA Tour Finals doubles title with Sania Mirza in Singapore last year.

At the Australian Open, Cara will hope to go one better than her performance at the Grand Slam event last year.

In 2014, Sania Mirza and Cara lost to number one seeds Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy in the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles tennis competition.

The number six seeds put up a brave fight and were in with a chance to win the match but in the end lost 2-6, 6-3, 4-6 in an hour and 58 minutes.

The Australian Open is the first major tournament of the four grand slam tournaments.

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