Serena & Venus Strike Thirteen In Doubles
Published July 07, 2012 12:00
LONDON, England - They had two shots, two opportunities, and they captured them: the Williams sisters won their 13th Grand Slam doubles title together at Wimbledon on Saturday night, converting their only two break points of the match to beat Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in the final, 75 64.
For an hour and 18 minutes under the Centre Court roof some of the biggest servers on the WTA went toe to toe - the Williams sisters and Hradecka make up three of the four fastest servers of the year (along with Julia Goerges). Unseeded, Venus and Serena broke once late in the first set and again early in the second set en route to the straight set win over the No.6 seeds.
"It's amazing," Venus said. "I was inspired by Serena's singles performance. It's wonderful to play on the court with her, and I couldn't have done it without her."
"Doubles is definitely more fun than singles," Serena said after the match. "At the same time, the last thing I want to do is let Venus down in doubles - in singles it's okay if I let myself down, but I don't want to let her down."
What's more, the Williams sisters are now 13-0 in Grand Slam doubles finals.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the serve," Venus said. "Serena and I put so much pressure on our opponents with our serves, and our returns are also very good. Maybe that has something to do with it. And we just stay really relaxed when we play with each other because we believe in each other so much."
Their doubles accomplishments are sometimes overlooked because of their singles accomplishments, but they are truly one of the best teams in WTA history - they have the third-most Grand Slam doubles titles among all teams in the Open Era, following 20-time champions Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver and 14-time champions Gigi Fernández and Natasha Zvereva.
But there are some funny stories from early on in their doubles careers.
"I remember one time my dad told Venus to get aggressive at the net," Serena said. "I don't remember if we were playing together or against each other, but he was like, 'You need to be more aggressive.' So Venus crossed while the guy was serving, and she ended up crossing on the serve and hitting a volley on the serve. That just goes to show you her attitude. It's so funny - I think about that all the time on the doubles court. It's definitely not appropriate.
"But we've been playing doubles a long time. When we were young we played doubles all the time, so it's been really, really fun."
Venus was asked about Serena's run to the singles title over the fortnight, as well as all the things the 30-year-old has had to overcome just to play.
"She hasn't had an easy road," Venus said. "Things have happened in her life you can't predict or control. Things happen that she didn't deserve. For her to fight through that and come back and be a champion again, and not only that, but to have made the finals of the US Open, reached the Top 5, all these achievements she's done, I don't think anyone else can do, is just amazing.
"It was emotional today. I was so nervous. I felt like I was trying to play the match; I couldn't. You never miss in the stands. But she played amazing.
"It's all about faith. I think we had faith that things have to come out right. You have to be positive in those kinds of situations. You have to put it away to a higher power. I think that's what we did. She's such a fighter too - she never says die. Positivity definitely really brought her a long way in that.
"I don't think either of us believe we can be defeated by anything."