x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Williams' at the doubles

Serena and Venus beat the Australian pairing of Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs just before the setting sun disappeared yesterday.

Serena Williams, left, and sister Venus, won the Wimbledon women's doubles title for the fourth time.
Serena Williams, left, and sister Venus, won the Wimbledon women's doubles title for the fourth time.

LONDON // The Williams sisters had a longer rest than they wanted after their singles final, before going on court to win the Wimbledon women's doubles title for the fourth time. Serena and Venus beat the Australian pairing of Samantha Stosur and Rennae Stubbs 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 just before the setting sun disappeared. An extraordinarily tight men's doubles final in which the American Bryan twins eventually succumbed to defending champions Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic kept the sisters waiting to complete their busy Fourth of July commitments.

Most of the crowd who had watched them do battle in mid afternoon stayed in their seats to see them to recover from a shaky start - Serena looked to be still coming down to earth after the exhilaration of her singles triumph - to get the better of a partnership who have much more doubles experience. "It feels great to win the doubles as well," said Serena. "There's nothing like winning a title with your sister."

Venus, who shook off her disappointment from the relinquishing of her singles crown to play the dominant role in the sibling partnership, said: "We were expecting from the beginning of the championships, to make both finals. We made sure before we came here that we're fit to do that." Venus, with one eye on the record books, added: "Doubles is huge for us at the grand slams. At the end of the day when your name is by a grand slam title, that number adds up for both of us in the doubles. Obviously singles is our first priority, but the doubles is very important."

For the other American siblings in action on Saturday evening, doubles is paramount. Bob and Mike Bryan have made a career out of the specialist discipline and were confident of winning their seventh major, having won two in New York, two in Melbourne, one in Paris and one here. The second-seeded combination of Canada's Nestor and Serbia's Zimonjic proved too solid in a match that produced only five break points in three hours of battle. The holders accepted one of the two that came their way - the Bryans squandered all three of theirs - and that proved pivotal in clinching a 7-6 (9-7), 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 verdict.

"It's a great accomplishment to come back here and do it again," said Nestor. "One of the first things I noticed was our name on the board." wjohnson@thenational.ae