Williams Sisters Win Doubles Honors in Aussie Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Serena and Venus Williams won their eighth Grand Slam women's doubles title Friday, beating Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia and Japan's Ai Sugiyama 6-3, 6-3 in the Australian Open final.

The Williams sisters, seeded 10th, were untroubled as they served out the first set in just 38 minutes under a closed roof on center court.

The temperature topped 113 degrees in the late afternoon and the roof on Rod Laver Arena was closed when the tournament's Extreme Heat Policy was put in effect.

The second set proved more difficult as the pairs exchanged breaks six times in nine games before the Williams' powerful returns and superior movement around the court proved the deciding factor.

"We played a great team today. They were very tough," Venus said. "At the end there I think we just maybe wanted it a little more."

Serena Williams, who returns to center court Saturday for the singles final, dominated at the net as they broke Sugiyama's serve to take a 4-3 lead, then sealed the championship by breaking Hantuchova.

"I think we complement each other on the court because we're both extremely positive," Venus said. "We know, when the other one moves, what the other one needs to do to compensate for that or to add to it."

The sisters, who won the doubles gold medal at last year's Beijing Olympics, held up their rackets to celebrate the win before hugging each other on court.

"I'd like to thank Serena for being the best partner," Venus Williams, 28, said. "I wouldn't want to play with anyone else. She's amazing."

The Williams sisters now have three Australian Open doubles titles, having previously won here in 2001 and 2003. Serena won the singles title in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

They have won doubles titles at all four Grand Slams, a milestone that Sugiyama was hoping to achieve by winning here with Hantuchova.

Serena, 27, who has a chance to win her 10th singles Grand Slam title when she takes on Dinara Safina on Saturday, looked relaxed during and after the match.

The sisters laughed and chatted between sets and made an unhurried exit from Rod Laver Arena after the trophy presentations.

"I don't have to work too hard out there. Just hit some big serves," Serena said. "Venus hits some big serves, we put the ball away.

"For me it's great practice, great fun. If I'm really fit, then I like to go for the win in both events."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us