French Open: Williams sisters stage comeback to advance to second round of doubles

In their return to Grand Slam doubles play Wednesday morning, Venus and Serena Williams defeated Japan’s 14-seed Shuko Aoyama and Miyu Kato, coming back the final two sets in commanding 6-4, 6-1 fashion, after dropping the first 4-6.

The Williams sisters, who were awarded a wild-card entry into the doubles tournament, both have already played individually in the singles competition.

Venus, 37, lost in the first round Sunday to China’s Qiang Wang. Serena, 36, won her Tuesday match against Kristyna Pliskova, marking her first appearance at a Grand Slam since winning the 2017 Australian Open and subsequently taking maternity leave.

Serena and Venus Williams during their first doubles Grand Slam appearance in two years. (Reuters)
Serena and Venus Williams during their first doubles Grand Slam appearance in two years. (Reuters)

Beyond the win in her first match, Serena made waves for wearing a black full-body ‘cat suit’ as a tribute to “all the moms out there that had a tough pregnancy and have to come back and try to be fierce, in the middle of everything.” She experienced life-threatening complications after her daughter, Olympia, was born in September – she donned the statement look again in the doubles match.

Venus’ 21st singles appearance at Roland Garros resulted in exiting consecutive majors in the first round for the first time in her career.

Wednesday’s match was the duo’s first appearance together a major in two years. However, they have a history at Roland Garros: they won the 1999 and 2010 French Open doubles championships, but lost in the first round in 2013, and the third in 2016. 

Overall, Venus and Serena have racked up 14 Grand Slam wins as doubles partners. 

 

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