Historic Africans Top WTA Doubles

by | Nov 9, 2007

Zimbabwe’s Cara Black (left) and SA-born Liezel Huber will finish the 2007 Women’s Tennis Association’s Tour Double rankings as the second team in history to finish a season in that position. Picture courtesy WTA.

Zimbabwe’s Cara Black (left) and SA-born Liezel Huber will finish the 2007 Women’s Tennis Association’s Tour Double rankings as the second team in history to finish a season in that position. Picture courtesy WTA.

Cara Black from Zimbabwe and recently naturalized American citizen Liezel Huber will conclude the 2007 season as the No. 1 doubles team, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced today. 

"It’s been a fantastic year, not only for us but for our husbands as well, who contribute a great amount to our success," said 28 year-old Black. "We are really excited about finishing the year number one."

The pair are only the fourth team to jointly hold the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Doubles Ranking since its inception in 1984 and only the second team to finish a season in that position.

In 2007, the African-born pair has reached the semifinals or better of 21 of the 22 tournaments they have played entering the Sony Ericsson Championships, winning eight titles including two Grand Slams, and will finish the season as the joint-top ranked players on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Doubles Rankings on November 12.

"I think the highlight for me was winning our second Wimbledon title together," continued Black. "We have a great time on the road, we are great friends and really enjoy each others company and I think that has been a key factor as to why we have done so well."

"It’s been an incredible year, we started the year off strong, which really motivated us to do even better," added 31 year-old Huber. "We just kept going and are so happy now with the end result. We have worked hard as a team and have a lot of great memories.

"Our husbands think they are both comedians, so it makes for fun times on and off the court. My prize money will be going towards building a tennis center, it’s a dream come true for me personally. My parents were present when I won my first Grand Slam title and they will be here in Madrid, as we conclude the year at No. 1. I could not ask for more!"

"Cara and Liezel have had an exemplary season winning eight Sony Ericsson WTA Tour titles, including the Australian Open and Wimbledon, as well as being the top team still in the hunt for the season-ending Sony Ericsson Championships title," said Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Chairman and CEO Larry Scott.

"Their passion for the game of doubles, both off and on the court is inspiring to many and their professional approach to the sport is one of the major keys to their success in 2007. I congratulate them on their achievement."

Black and Huber first teamed up on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in 2001, winning their very first tournament in Tokyo before playing sporadically until the start of 2005.

There they really came into form winning Rome, reaching the final of the Roland Garros and winning Wimbledon (their third tournament victory) before Huber suffered a severe ACL injury which later required surgery bringing their season to a premature end.

The two reunited at the start of the 2007 season, winning their fourth tournament together at the Australian Open and haven’t looked back since. Black has held the No. 1 ranking individually since July 9 following their Wimbledon success, and Liezel will join her at No. 1 for the first time in her career. She is the 22nd woman since Doubles Rankings began in 1984 to attain that position.

The following is a look at the season-ending Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Doubles Number Ones during the last 10 years:
2007 Cara Black (ZIM) & Liezel Huber (USA)
2006 Lisa Raymond (USA) & Sam Stosur (AUS)
2005 Cara Black (ZIM)
2004 Virginia Ruano Pascual (ESP)
2003-03 Paola Suarez (ARG)
2001 Lisa Raymond (USA)
2000 Julie Halard-Decugis (FRA)
1999 Anna Kournikova (RUS)
1997-98 Natasha Zvereva (BLR)
 

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