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A Williams 1st -- Venus, Serena Qualify for Year-end Doubles Chp.

September 29, 2009 07:00 PM

Florida’s Venus and Serena Williams don’t have many “firsts” left to experience in their storied careers, but they have at least one more remaining at the end of this year. By virtue of their results in only five doubles tournaments played together this year, the Palm Beach Gardens residents have for the first time qualified for the WTA Tour year-end doubles championships in Doha, Qatar.

The sisters won the Australian Open in January, but at the French Open were stopped in the third round by the No. 10-seeded American-Russian combination of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Nadia Petrova. They then went on a three-tournament winning streak, capturing the titles at Wimbledon, Stanford, and the US Open.

The WTA Tour doubles championships will take place at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex in Doha from Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 2009.  The team of Venus and Serena Williams is the second to qualify, joining world No. 1s Cara Black and Liezel Huber.

“We are thrilled to be heading to Doha for the Sony Ericsson Championships,” Serena said. “I love playing doubles with Venus as we have so much fun on the court. This year, we actually decided to put more emphasis on our doubles careers and going to Doha has been on our mind all season. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to compete at the Sony Ericsson Championships in both singles and doubles.”

The elder Williams sister Venus is also hoping to join Serena in qualifying for the year-end championship in singles.

“It’s been extremely rewarding to win a number of big doubles titles with Serena this year,” Venus said. “While playing doubles with my sister is one of the best experiences for me, qualifying for the Sony Ericsson Championships as a team is a great accomplishment and we can’t wait to get to Doha and take on the best doubles teams in the world.”

The Williams sisters, along with fellow American Lisa Raymond, are the only active players to have completed the career doubles Grand Slam, with the Williams winning the Australian Open (2009, 2003, 2001), Roland Garros (1999), Wimbledon (2009-08, 2002, 2000) and the US Open (2009, 1999), a total of 10 Grand Slam titles and a perfect 10-0 record in Slam finals.

Overall they are third all-time behind the teams of Martina Navratilova-Pam Shriver (21 Grand Slam titles) and Gigi Fernandez-Natasha Zvereva (14). 

 

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