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The BBC's Iain Carter
"Once the first set was in the bag, it was one-way traffic"
 real 28k

Venus and Serena Williams
speak about their victory
 real 28k


Monday, 10 July, 2000, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Sisters make history
Venus & Serena Williams
Venus and Serena Williams lift the doubles trophy
Venus and Serena Williams have made tennis history as the first sisters to win the Wimbledon doubles title.

Venus had beaten Serena in the semi-finals on her way to the singles crown, but their powerful partnership swept away opponents Ai Sugiyama and Julie Halard-Decugis 6-3 6-2.

Despite having been at the champions ball until 2am the night before, the sisters were still in the mood to celebrate.

The Americans were wildcard entrants in the doubles competition, having only played three tournaments together in the past year.

Too strong

But they were simply too strong for the Japanese-French pairing, clinching the title before a lively near-capacity Centre Court crowd in 1hr 10mins.

The match started brightly for Halard-Decugis and Sugiyama as they broke Venus' serve, but the sisters broke back immediately in a first set which contained some excellent play.


Julie Halard-Decugis & Ai Sugiyama
Swept away: Halard-Decugis and Sugiyama
The Williams duo began to demonstrate their big-serving athleticism as they opened up a 5-3 lead by breaking Sugiyama's serve.

They clinched the set in the next game, despite a double fault from Venus on their first set point.

Sugiyama was bidding to become the first Japanese woman to triumph here since Kazuko Sawamatsu partnered American Anne Kiyomura in the doubles final in 1975.

But against such tough opponents she and Halard-Decugis, who played some magnificent returns, stood little chance.

Powerplay

At the start of the second set, both Sugiyama and her French partner lost service games as the sisters raced into a 4-0 lead.

Halard-Decugis won her next to make it 4-1, but it was now only a matter of time before the Williams's powerplay brought the 2000 Wimbledon Championships to a close.

However, they needed to save two breakpoints in the next game as Sugiyama and Halard-Decugis kept battling but were unable to break back.


Venus & Serena Williams
Venus (left) wants Serena on the US Olympic team
The Williams girls could afford to let their opponents win their second game of the set before Serena made sure she and Venus both went home as winners by serving a championship-winning ace.

Afterwards, Serena said: "One of our goals is to see our name alongside the number one ranking (in singles and doubles). That's something we both want to accomplish.

"We're both out to get all we can. We're really greedy, but we're not playing our best tennis. There is a lot of room for improvement."

Role models

Serena also gave her approval to a suggestion from the LTA that the Williams sisters could be adopted as role models to inspire Britain to produce a potential champion from among ethnic minority groups.

"That sounds great," said the 1999 US Open champion. "We love it here and it would be great to see some more minority tennis players involved."

Their doubles win gave food for thought to US Olympic women's team selector Billie Jean King, who has a wildcard pick for the doubles.

With first choice Corina Morariu currently injured, Serena could well get the vote - especially as Venus says she might shelve plans of a trip to Australia if her younger sister is not on the team.

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See also:

10 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
Women's doubles final clockwatch
10 Jul 00 |  Photo Galleries
Women's doubles final: In pictures
09 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
First title for Johnson and Po
08 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
Woodies make it six
10 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
Sampras into third spot
10 Jul 00 |  The Brits
Young Brits see hopes dashed
09 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
Sampras' magnificent seven
08 Jul 00 |  Wimbledon2000
Wonderful Williams
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