Sisters take sixth doubles Slam title
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Serena and Venus Williams combined on one side of the net to win a sixth Grand Slam doubles title Friday, on the eve of their fourth consecutive clash in a major singles championship match at the Australian Open.
The top-seeded Williams sisters rallied from a set and a break down to beat the second-seeded pair of Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain and Argentina's Paola Suarez 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Serena, who beat Venus in the singles finals at the French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open last year, will be bidding for her "Serena Slam'' when the pair meet in the Australian Open women's singles final on Saturday.
"We want to dedicate this win to Mom,'' Venus said after the victory. "Thanks Mom, we love you and you've been there all the way and we'll be there for you, I promise,''
Team Williams had had beaten Ruano Pascual and Suarez 6-2, 7-5 in the Wimbledon final last year and was 1-1 going into the Australian doubles title match.
It was a second Australian Open doubles title for the Williams, who won at Melbourne Park in 2000. Their other titles came at the French and U.S. Opens in '99 and at Wimbledon in 2000 and 2002.
Suarez and Ruano Pascual had three Grand Slam doubles titles, winning back-to-back French Open finals in 2001 and 2002 and the U.S. Open title last year.
Suarez said she hoped the Williams, who were given the No. 1 seeding despite their doubles ranking, would concentrate on singles next time.
"I hope next year Venus and Serena don't play and we can win the championship,'' Suarez said.
Serena dropped her first service game at love, double faulting at break point.
The Spanish-Argentine combination clinched the set on a disputed call when Venus' backhand return drifted wide. Venus, expecting an overrule, glared in disbelief.
Serena was broken again in the first game of the second set, but the Williams sisters rallied to break Ruano Pascual twice.
In the 10th game, Serena intercepted a volley and Venus put away an overhead to set up set point, then Serena rifled a forehand return down the line to level it at a set apiece.
Venus was broken for the first time, losing the opening game of the deciding set, but Serena saved six break points in the third game to spark a Williams revival.
They lost just one point in the next two games in a five-game winning run to seal the match, with Venus setting up three match points with an ace and Serena slamming a backhand volley cross court to win the championship.Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories
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