Originally created 07/11/00

Williams sisters win Wimbledon doubles



WIMBLEDON, England -- Nine Grand Slams, and counting.

The Williams sisters are wracking up major titles and promising many more to come.

Two days after winning the Wimbledon singles title, Venus Williams teamed with Serena Williams to beat Ai Sugiyama and Julie Halard-Decuguis 6-3, 6-2 on Monday to become the first sisters to capture the women's doubles championship.

The doubles final was postponed to Monday because of rain that extended the men's final -- won by Pete Sampras over Patrick Rafter in four sets -- to dusk Sunday.

The 70-minute victory gave the Williams' their third Grand Slam doubles title. They also won the 1999 U.S. Open and French Open.

Two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles apiece and Serena's 1999 U.S. Open single's trophy round out the silverware so far.

"We're both going to try to get as much as we can," 20-year-old Venus said.

"We're both really greedy," said Serena, 18.

With her 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory over Lindsay Davenport in Saturday's singles final, Venus became the first black women's champion at Wimbledon since Althea Gibson in 1957-58.

Venus was playing in only her fourth tournament this year after being sidelined for six months with tendinitis in both wrists. Serena, 18, had a two-month layoff with tendinitis in her knee.

"It's amazing for us to come back like this," said Serena, who lost to Venus in the semifinals. "People are going to practice harder to beat us. But you know what? We are too. We mean business.

"We can do a lot better. We're not playing our best tennis right now. There's a lot of room for improvement."

Next target? The next Grand Slam, of course.

"For me, the U.S. Open," Venus said.

"For me, too," said Serena, who will defend her title when the tournament opens in late August.

The sisters are also determined to compete for the No. 1 ranking. When Serena joined the tour in 1998, Venus predicted they would be ranked 1-2 by the end of the year, but it hasn't happened yet.

Venus will move up to No. 3 this week behind Martina Hingis and Davenport, tying her career best. Serena will rise to No. 7.

"We've had a few hurdles to jump, as far as injuries and consistency go," Venus said. "But we're on our way. We believe in ourselves. I don't think I'll be able to attain No. 1 this year. It's going to be tough. But next year, I definitely have the opportunity starting at the Australian Open."