AUCKLAND, New Zealand - The weekend didn't just bring former No.1 doubles player Cara Black the ASB Classic title in her first WTA tournament since becoming a mom last April, it also brought back the feeling of being right in the thick of things on the tour, from the players lounge to the tennis court.
So how did the Zimbabwean feel about it all?
"It feels great to be back out on the tour again," Black said. "It was great to be back on the court with Rodi again. We had a fun week last week in Auckland and are thrilled to have won the title. Auckland has always been one of my favorite stops on the tour, so it was really nice to be back there again. And the final was an exciting match, playing against two great professionals of the game, Slava and Julia. There were some awesome points and we were lucky to come out on top in that super tie-break."
It wasn't just Black's first WTA event as a mother, it was also the first WTA event she played with her eight-month-old son, Lachlan Alexander Stephens, cheering her on from her camp.
"It was great to see all the girls again. They were all so wonderful with Lachie - I hardly saw him all week! After being away for so long, I realized how much I missed everyone, and tennis too. It's amazing to be back, to have another chance to compete again with a whole new perspective. It's such a bonus.
"I'm looking forward to the Australian Open coming up and am so lucky to have my family by my side."
Black has had a large amount of success in Auckland in her career, winning the doubles title three times in 2000 (with Alexandra Fusai), 2010 (with Liezel Huber) and now 2013 (with Anastasia Rodionova). Additionally, she made one of her two career singles finals at the event, finishing runner-up back in 2000 (losing to Anne Kremer in the final). And watch out for Black at the Australian Open too - she has won the women's doubles there once in 2007 (with Huber) and the mixed once in 2010 (with Leander Paes).