Williams sisters crowned doubles champions

MELBOURNE: Venus and Serena Williams coasted to their 11th Grand Slam doubles title on Friday when they beat top seeds Cara Black of Zimbabwe and American Liezel Huber to be crowned Australian Open champions.

The American pair won 6-4, 6-3 for their second successive Australian title and their fourth overall in an 86-minute victory over the 2007 winners.

They also won here in 2001 and 2003.

Both pairs had almost identical winning records over the early rounds but the Williams sisters dominated the final, easing to a comfortable win.

However, the actual moment of the victory caught Venus by surprise, as she had not realised it was match point and was taken aback by Serena’s sudden unbridled delight.

“I actually didn’t know the score and I thought that it was 5-2,” she said with a laugh. “I thought, she’s really happy about this break.

“I thought, wow, I’ve never seen her this happy, but I’ll go with it.”

Serena, who plays Justine Henin in the singles final on Saturday, said their success as a doubles combination made them wish they had teamed up earlier.

“We were talking today about how we wished we had have played more when we were, you know, younger,” she said.

“We still feel like we have so much we can win and just stay focused. We just love being out there and we love the competition.

“More than anything, we really have fun, we smile and we enjoy it.”

The sisters are now the third most successful women’s doubles partnership in the Open Era, after Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver (21 Grand Slam titles), and Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva (14).

They have now won four of the past six Grand Slam doubles titles.

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