LONDON, England - The Wimbledon doubles event got underway Wednesday, with the Williams sisters among the first round winners.
Despite a legendary partnership that includes 13 Grand Slam titles, five of them coming at Wimbledon, the Williamses were on a three-match losing streak coming into this fortnight - the longest of their tenure that dates back to 1997.
And it looked like it would be four losses in a row against first-time teammates Oksana Kalashnikova and Olga Savchuk, when after splitting the first two sets the eighth-seeded sisters went down 3-0 in the third. But they regained their composure and tied the set at 3-3, eventually breaking serve to go up 5-4, and Venus then served out the 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 victory that featured 10 aces for the winners.
After falling earlier in the day to Agnieszka Radwanska in singles, Casey Dellacqua made sure the day wasn't a total loss by teaming with Ashleigh Barty for a 6-4, 7-6(3) defeat of Eugenie Bouchard and Heather Watson.
"It's better after a loss to get back out there," Dellacqua said. "We made the final here last year. We made the final in Birmingham. We've been playing some really good doubles together. If I have a busy day as I get older, since she's only 18, she can take more of the load, which is nice."
Three-time Grand Slams runners-up Barty and Dellacqua are seeded sixth this fortnight.
"Even though maybe as a team they hadn't played before, in singles they're extremely good players, so we were very prepared for a tough match," Dellacqua said of Bouchard and Watson. "But I think in the end Ashleigh and I were probably the better team. We could set some plays up since we had a little bit more experience on the doubles court.
"You never want to cruise through the tournament too easily. You want to have a few tough matches. It prepares you for later in the tournament when there are some important moments, and you want to know as a team you can get through them. It was a really good first round for us."
Also advancing were second-seeded Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci, 10th-seeded Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, 12th-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova, 13th-seeded Lucie Hradecka and Michaella Krajicek, 14th-seeded Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic and 16th-seeded Garbiñe Muguruza and Carla Suárez Navarro.