|French Open 2014|
|Daniela Hantuchova/Shahar Peer (SVK/ISR)||vs||Sania Mirza/Cara Black (IND/ZIM)|
ScheduleThursday, 29 May 2014 at 11:00 GMT / 12:00 UK / 16:30 IST
Daniela Hantuchova and Shahar Peer, currently 53th and 106th on the WTA doubles ranking list are playing against Cara Black and Sania Mirza, currently 10th and 8th in the rankings.
Daniela Hantuchova and Shahar Peer are still active singles players, so understandably they naturally find their singles matches to be a priority. On the contrary, Mirza and Black finished their career in the singles, and they are fully focused on doubles, so this match is of special importance to them.
Mirza and Black teamed up for this year’s Australian Open, and their playing could be described as solid – they made it to the quarterfinals and finished the competition there. Cara Black only missed two Grand Slam double tournaments from 1998 up to this date, so one could say she has an abundance of experience, and that she isn’t the type to rest on her laurels, seeing how she’s won five women’s doubles championships, and brought home five mixed doubles titles as well. Sania Mirza only has one final, here in Roland Garros, and she is a two-time mixed doubles champion. Daniela Hantuchova won four mixed doubles titles.
Considering their characteristics both as a team and as individual players, Mirza and Black are certainly the better synchronized double of the two, and Cara Black’s experience helps immensely. However, the pair might be upset by Hantuchova’s strong serve, unparalleled by any of the other players that will clash in this match.
While Mirza has certainly proved her skills as a double player after abandoning her singles career, she is yet to win a Grand Slam title, and the time for it to happen is way overdue. Perhaps Black is the right partner for her, and that the two will manage to achieve this feat.
However, in doubles, surprises occur more often than in singles, especially matches of the first and the second round, so it is not excluded that Hantuchova and Peer will manage to upset Black and Mirza. However, it only remains a possibility, as the Zimbabwean and the Indian player are strong favorites.
Black and Mirza are 5th seeded, and they have had good luck in the draw. Until the quarterfinals, when they could play against 1st seeded Hsieh and Peng, they won’t play any Grand slam winners, and their potential opponents are mostly single players with little interest in doubles. Even if they get to play against Hsieh and Peng in the quarters, they can’t play 2nd seeded but probably the best pair in this year’s tournament, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, four-times doubles champions, that managed to beat Black and Mirza in the quarterfinals of Australian Open.
These pairs never played against each other, but Black and Mirza played against Hantuchova and Lucic this year, and won the match 2:0.
It is expected that Black and Mirza will go through to the second round.