Serena and Venus Williams at centre of shock announcement at US Open

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Venus and Serena Williams, pictured here at the Australian Open in 2017.
Venus and Serena Williams at the Australian Open in 2017. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Serena and Venus Williams have sent tennis fans into a frenzy after announcing they will play doubles together at the US Open.

The superstar sisters, who have won two of their 14 women's doubles grand slam titles at Flushing Meadows, were given a wild-card by the US Tennis Association on Saturday.

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It will mark the first time the Williams sisters have played doubles together since the French Open in 2018.

Serena announced earlier this month that she plans to step away from professional tennis - presumably after the US Open - meaning her doubles bow with Venus could shape as her farewell to the sport.

Serena turns 41 next month, while Venus turned 42 in June.

The sisters won women's doubles championships at the US Open in 1999 - the year Serena won her first major singles trophy at age 17 in New York - and 2009.

They also have six grand slam doubles titles at Wimbledon, four at the Australian Open and two at the French Open.

The most recent came at Wimbledon in 2016, and they remain unbeaten in women's grand slam doubles finals at 14-0.

They've also won three doubles gold medals together at the Olympics and a combined 30 grand slam singles titles - 23 for Serena and seven for Venus.

The Williams sisters haven't competed anywhere in doubles as a pairing since losing in the third round of the French Open in 2018.

Since then, each Williams sister has entered two doubles events with other partners.

Serena and Venus Williams, pictured here after winning the US Open doubles title in 2009.
Serena and Venus Williams celebrate after winning the US Open doubles title in 2009. (Photo by Howard Earl Simmons/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

For Serena, one was with Caroline Wozniacki in January of 2020, and the other with Ons Jabeur this June in Eastbourne, England, in a grass-court tune-up ahead of Wimbledon.

That marked Serena's return to competitive tennis after nearly a full year away from the tour recovering from a hamstring injury she suffered at Wimbledon in 2021.

For Venus, her first doubles event since 2018 was with Harriet Dart in June of 2019, and the other was with American teenager Coco Gauff at last year's French Open.

In singles, Venus was also off the tour for nearly a year until returning at a tournament in Washington earlier this month.

While Serena has revealed her plans to retire from tennis, Venus has not.

The news that the Williams sisters will team up in doubles once again - probably for the final time - sent tennis fans into a frenzy on social media.

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Serena has been scheduled to open the evening session on Arthur Ashe Stadium against Montenegro's Danka Kovinic on Monday night in what could be the final singles match of her career.

"It's a privilege to share the court with Serena," Kovinic said on Friday.

"I just really hope that I can show my good game. Maybe my best game."

They've crossed paths in tour locker rooms over the years, but Kovinic said she never got up the nerve to request a joint practice session.

Venus and Serena Williams, pictured here at the US Open in 2018.
Venus and Serena Williams at the US Open in 2018. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

"I was like, 'OK, that's Serena and I am Danka,'" said the 80th-ranked Kovinic, whose best grand slam results have so far been reaching the third round at the Australian Open in January and French Open in May before losing at each to a grand slam champion.

"I didn't feel like I could approach her to ask. Serena is an icon. If I wasn't playing her on Monday, I wouldn't have all this attention. I'm aware of that" she said.

"So it'll be a very nice experience and, at the same moment, maybe a little bit stressful. Of course I will feel pressure. But I will try to turn it into something positive."

with AAP

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