Black & Erakovic Continue To Shine
Published May 10, 2013 11:58
MADRID, Spain - Prior to arriving in Madrid, the sum total of Cara Black and Marina Erakovic's time together as doubles partners was a first round defeat to Anne Keothavong and Anna Smith in Copenhagen three years ago.
On Saturday, in the rather grander surrounds of La Caja Mágica's Monolo Santana court, the two will look to complete a remarkable week by becoming Mutua Madrid Open champions and walking away with the winners' cheque of €203,000.
Despite their inexperience in tandem, both players know their way around the doubles court; Erakovic has won seven titles, while Black, who only returned to the tour this January after giving birth to her first child, is a former World No.1 with five Grand Slams to her name.
And, according to Erakovic, the knowledge garnered from Black's time at the top has proved invaluable in negotiating their way to the final.
"Cara has had so much success and I think she helps us stay really focused," Erakovic said. "We really try and do the right things and for me I'm the rookie here, she tells me what to do, which is kind of nice!
"We've had a great tournament and hopefully we can finish it off by winning in the final."
Although regular partners on tour, Pavlyuchenkova and Safarova, like Black and Erakovic, are unseeded in the Spanish capital.
After taking out No.5 seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza in the second round, the Russian-Czech team have battled past first Janette Husarova and Sabine Lisicki and then in Friday's semifinal Kristina Mladenovic and Galina Voskoboeva, 67(5) 60 107.