Somewhat lost in the buildup to the Serena Williams/Justine Henin Australian Open Women’s Final is the continuing quest of Venus and Serena to defend the AO Women’s Doubles title from last year. Only a few hours after winning a tight semifinal against Na Li, Serena went out on court with Venus and was able to take out the veterans Renee Stubbs/Lisa Raymond 6-3, 7-6(6) in the doubles semifinal. The Williams sisters will now face the No. 1 seeds Liezel Huber and Cara Black for the title.
Some questioned why Serena, who admitted she’s not a hundred percent physically, would risk a Grand Slam title for doubles. She replied she “made the commitment” and will stick to it. It could also be that Serena and Venus know they are on track to possibly overtake the all time Grand Slam doubles title record currently held by Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver. Navratilova/Shriver won 21 Slam titles in their career followed by the team of Natasha Zvereva and Gigi Fernandez with 14. Williams/Williams have 10 Slam titles total including last year’s Australian Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.
Considering the Williams sisters really only play the Slams together, it’s quite an accomplishment since they regularly defeat seasoned teams who play all year. Both sisters may rue the fact that they didn’t start playing as a team earlier in their careers, but if they can keep winning at least two Slams a year for the next five years, they could prompt the always fit Navratilova to come out of retirement one more time.