CARA Black and Indian partner Sania Mirza successfully launched the defence of their Pan Pacific Open doubles title in Tokyo Wednesday but face a tricky hurdle in their bid to progress to the second round.
In the second round Cara and Sania face four-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis who dumped them out of the US Open in the semi finals two weeks ago.
Seeded first, Cara and Sania defeated Casey Dellacqua and former Cara partner Lisa Raymond of the US to make it to the second round.
The Indo-Zimbabwean duo claimed the first set 6-3 but were pegged back by the same margin in the second set before winning the tie break 10-8.
In the second round they will take on the Swiss pairing of Hingis and 17 year-old rising star Belinda Bencic.
Last year Cara and Sania defeated Hao-Ching Chan and Liezel Huber, another former partner of the Zimbabwean, to win the doubles title in Tokyo.
Unseeded then, unseeded Indo-Zimbabwean pair came from a set down to register a thrilling 4-6, 6-0, 11-9 victory over Chinese Taipei and American pair. – Online.