Cara advances in US Open

ZIMBABWEa��S Cara Black is one of the have-nots in the world of professional tennis. But then, there is so much money in the sport that we might all be happy not having.
Black is a doubles specialist. She toils on the back courts of tournaments, even at the mega-events such as the current US Open.

She is one of the darlings of fans who were able only to purchase grounds passes that dona��t get them onto the big courts. Her matches attract a mix of true doubles fans and people looking for a bleacher spot to sit down.

We should not feel sorry for Black. She would be horrified at the thought. She has long ago come to grips with the discrepancy between the haves (singles players) and her. The womena��s singles champion at the US Open will win $3 million.

Each womena��s doubles champion will get $260 000.

Cara is 35, a mother, and is now in her 16th year of travelling the world and playing on the back courts. For her efforts, she has made close to $7,5 million. No a�?poor mea�? there.

On Wednesday, she and partner Sania Mirza of India, seeded numberA� 3, ran past the Pliskova twins, Karolina and Kristyna, of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-0. A cozy gathering of fans was on hand. Black is also among the elite players in mixed doubles, teaming with veteran Leander Paes of India and seeded number 3 in that event.

Except maybe in Zimbabwe, where she is from, her great tennis success draws few headlines. It takes a Bryan brothers career in doubles to get attention, and even their big victories are often an afterthought to singles news.

But if she has any regrets a�� and with five Grand Slam womena��s titles and five more in mixed, youa��d expect not a�� she has little time to ponder it. She travels with husband Brett Stephens and two-year-old son Lachlan. After each match, the tennis racket is replaced by a stroller.

a�?The tour used to have so much down time,a�? she says, laughing. a�?Now, there is zero down time.a�?

Her father, Don, was a touring pro who played half a dozen times at Wimbledon and had a dream that one of his children would one day win there.

He built four grass courts and one all-weather court in the family backyard. Older brothers Byron and Wayne learnt there and each went to USC, where they were stars on the team and had pro careers. – Los Angeles Times.