The Norman Transcript

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January 21, 2013

Williams sisters pull double-duty

MELBOURNE, Australia — Serena Williams may have rolled her ankle, and whacked herself in the lip with her racket, but that doesn’t mean she needs any extra rest.

A day after winning her third-round match against Ayumi Morita of Japan — her first-injury free round at this year’s Australian Open — the No. 3-ranked Williams was back on the court Sunday to play alongside sister Venus.

The Williams sisters take doubles seriously, and that can mean skipping the rest day between singles matches. Venus has joked they have so many trophies they use some as fruit bowls.

The sisters have captured 13 major doubles titles, including four at the Australian Open. They’ve also won three Olympic gold medals for doubles.

So dominant are Venus and Serena, they’ve never lost in a Grand Slam doubles final they’ve contested. They’ve reached the final in seven of the last 10 majors they’ve played.

“They mean a lot to me,” Serena said earlier this week of her doubles titles from Grand Slams.

“I mean, people that are winning a lot of singles titles, nowadays, in the past decade or two decades, usually don’t win as many in doubles. So I’m almost even with my singles and doubles.”

Serena has 15 major singles titles, while Venus has seven.

Because they tend to only play doubles in the slams, the sisters don’t have high rankings in the event. This means they usually have a low seeding — much to the chagrin of the top-ranked doubles teams in the world.

The Williams sisters were seeded 12th at the Australian Open, which led to an early third-round encounter with the unlucky fifth-seeded team of Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik on Sunday. The sisters won 6-2, 6-3.

Serena may be the more accomplished singles player in the family — Venus lost her second-round singles match to No. 2 Maria Sharapova — but on the doubles court she defers to her older sister.

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