NEW YORK -- For her encore to the U.S. Open singles
championship, Serena Williams played some more tennis, and won
This time, she brought her big sister along.
Venus shared the glory with Serena on Sunday as the Williams
sisters defeated Chanda Rubin and Sandrine Testud 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 for
the women's doubles championship at the Open.
But the crown seemed to provide no great comfort for the older
Venus was still showing the disappointment of her semifinal loss
to Martina Hingis as her sister celebrated almost $1 million in
earnings from the final two days of the tournament.
Serena joked about the tax bite on her prize money and how she
should have talked about that with President Clinton when he called
to congratulate her.
All the time, Venus looked almost glum.
"It doesn't help at all," she said of the doubles crown. "It
never helps. I'll never forget. I'm bitter."
She sat quietly, chewing nuts as Serena talked about how
wonderful it was to be a double champion at a Grand Slam event.
Serena is the more exuberant sister, anyway, so it was easy for
her to get excited. Venus looked on with a poker face, smiling only
occasionally, laughing once or twice as she talked about a mix-up
in hotel rooms during the Open.
When asked about winning the doubles title, she said: "I love
to win. It's great. I'm happy."
And then she went back to her snacks.
The day before, Venus was reduced to observer status as her kid
sister won the family's first Grand Slam singles crown, beating
Hingis for the championship.
When someone suggested that Venus had softened up the world's
No. 1 player in the semifinals before Serena beat her for the
championship, the older sister smiled thinly.
"I'm really glad she was able to win because that means that in
a way, I also have a U.S. Open title," she said.
At least her name is on an Open trophy, after she and Serena
captured the doubles.
It was not an easy task because the sisters had to play a
doubles semifinal after Serena's singles championship on Saturday
and then come back Sunday for the final.
There was no celebration of the singles title Saturday night.
"I had to go to sleep because I had another match," she said.
At the start of the doubles final, some must have wondered if
the sisters had been partying. The sisters dropped the first five
games in the first set. It was as if they had never met, never
played tennis together, never took over the U.S. Open.
And then, quite suddenly, they remembered where they were and
who they are. And after that it was just a matter of time.
When they were done, the sisters had won $1.5 million at the
Open, $915,000 going to Serena, the remainder to Venus.
|Venus, left, and Serena Williams dropped the first five games in the first set before catching fire.
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