Serena, Venus Williams get US Open doubles wild-card entry

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NEW YORK (AP) — Serena and Venus Williams are getting their Sister Act back together for doubles at the U.S. Open.

The American siblings, who have won two of their 14 women’s doubles Grand Slam titles at Flushing Meadows, were given a wild-card entry by the U.S. Tennis Association on Saturday, making it their first tournament as a team in more than four years.

Serena announced this month that she is preparing to end her playing career and, while she did not explicitly say the U.S. Open would be her final event, she has indicated it will be.

Serena, who turns 41 next month, and Venus, who turned 42 in June, won women’s doubles championships at the U.S. Open in 1999 — the year Serena won her first major singles trophy at age 17 in New York — and 2009.

Their other Grand Slam triumphs in doubles: six at Wimbledon, four at the Australian Open and two at the French Open. The most recent came at the All England Club in 2016.

They’ve also won three doubles gold medals at the Olympics.

That’s all aside from their combined total of 30 major trophies in singles — 23 for Serena, and seven for Venus.

The sisters have not competed anywhere in doubles as a pairing since losing in the third round of the French Open in June 2018.

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

For Serena, one was with Caroline Wozniacki in January 2020, and the other with Ons Jabeur this June — that came in Eastbourne, England, in a grass-court tune-up ahead of Wimbledon. That marked Serena’s return to competition after nearly a full year away from the tour.

She has gone 1-3 in singles in 2022, including a first-round loss at Wimbledon in June, and said less than three weeks ago that “the countdown has begun” to the close of her time as a professional player so she can focus on having another child and on her business interests.

For Venus, the first doubles event since 2018 was with Harriet Dart in June 2019, and the other was with American teenager Coco Gauff at last year’s French Open. In singles, Venus was off the tour for nearly a year until returning at a tournament in Washington this month.

Other women’s doubles teams receiving wild cards from the USTA on Saturday were Sophie Chang and Angela Kulikov, Robin Montgomery and CoCo Vandeweghe, Katrina Scott and Elizabeth Mandlik, Peyton Stearns and Ashlyn Krueger, Hailey Baptiste and Whitney Osuigwe, and Clervie Ngounoue and Reese Brantmeier.

Men’s doubles wild cards went to Brandon Holt — who qualified in singles on Friday and whose mother, Tracy Austin, won singles titles at the U.S. Open in 1979 and 1981 — and Govind Nanda, NCAA champion Ben Shelton and Chris Eubanks, Nicholas Monroe and Keegan Smith, Max Schnur and Hunter Reese, Alex Michelsen and Sebastian Gorzny, Robert Galloway and Alex Lawson, and Nicholas Godsick and Ethan Quinn.

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