<
>

Williams sisters pull out of doubles at Wimbledon

LONDON -- Serena and Venus Williams have pulled out of women's doubles at Wimbledon, with Serena saying it's because she wants to focus on her bid for a fourth consecutive Grand Slam title in singles.

"Following yesterday's match, I feel it would be best for me to concentrate on singles here at Wimbledon, and as a result, have made the decision to withdraw from doubles," Serena said Tuesday. "I've always loved playing doubles with Venus, particularly here at Wimbledon where we've had so much success over the years, and so I'm really sorry to have to withdraw this year."

Serena has won 22 Grand Slam matches in a row and seeking to complete another self-styled "Serena Slam" with a fourth straight major title. She also has a chance at the first calendar-year Grand Slam since Steffi Graf did it in 1988.

The Williams sisters have won 13 Grand Slam doubles titles as a pair, most recently at Wimbledon in 2012.

Both won first-round singles matches Monday.

In doubles at the All England Club last year, they stopped after three games in the second round, because Serena was ill.

Misaki Doi of Japan and Stephanie Vogt of Liechtenstein replaced the Williams sisters in this year's draw.

Dominika Cibulkova and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova also pulled out of doubles on Tuesday.