Leading up to the 2022 U.S. Open, the biggest tennis story of the summer was Serena’s announcement about her decision to “evolve” away from tennis. In a Vogue exclusive, the 23-time grand slam champion went into detail about her decision to step away from the game. It was one of the more honest and vulnerable accounts from Serena throughout her long career.
Though she hasn’t guaranteed it, many suspect the U.S. Open will be her last professional event. With Venus’s career also likely coming to an end soon, tennis fans have all been wondering…
Will they play doubles together at the 2022 U.S. Open one last time?
After much anticipation, the USTA announced its doubles wildcard entries the weekend before the event. Sure enough, Serena and Venus were at the top of the list, and Tennis Twitter soon erupted with excitement.
In their first round, Serena and Venus will take the court against Czech veteran Lucie Hradecka and 17-year-old Linda Noskova. For the Williams sisters, Hradecka is a familiar doubles foe.
They own a 6-1 H2H record over Hradecka including wins over Hradecka and former partner Andrea Sestini Hlavackova in the 2012 Olympic gold medal match and Wimbledon finals in 2012. The last time they played, however, Hradecka and Hlavackova defeated Venus/Serena in straight sets in the 2013 U.S. Open semi-finals.
Regardless of how they fare in the U.S. Open, it will be a symbolic moment to see Venus and Serena share the court one last time. And even more fitting for it to be in front of a packed home crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“It’s going to be so fun playing doubles together with Venus. It’s going to be crazy! We haven’t done it in so long and I’m really looking forward to it.”Serena Williams after her first-round singles win at the U.S. Open
Serena and Venus: A Doubles Deep Dive
In the shadows of Serena and Venus’s illustrious singles careers, it’s easy to forget they are one of the most accomplished doubles teams in WTA history and by far the most dominant team this century. Here are 7 statistics from the Williams sisters’ doubles career that will make your jaw drop.
1: 14-0 in Major Finals
When people talk about the Williams sisters’ doubles career, this is the most common record you hear first. And for good reason. Venus and Serena have won 14 grand slam doubles titles together with an impressive 14-0 record in finals. I mean, really?
This includes four Australian Open titles, two Roland Garros titles, six Wimbledon titles, and two U.S. Open titles. They have only been tested in a few of these finals, winning 10 of 14 finals in comprehensive straight sets. Could they make it 15-0 in New York? It would be incredible to witness.
2: #3 All-Time Major Winner
If there was a Mount Rushmore for women’s doubles, Serena and Venus would have prime real estate. With 14 grand slam titles together, the Williams Sisters have amassed the 3rd most doubles majors of any women’s team in the open era. They sit in good company on WTA’s doubles Mount Rushmore behind doubles legends Martina Navratilova/Pam Shriver (20 titles together) and Gigi Fernandez/Natasha Zvereva (17 titles together).
Other well-known icons, including Billie Jean King (16) and Martina Hingis (13), would also make WTA’s Mount Rushmore on their own for enjoying success with a multitude of partners during their careers.
3: 25 Years + 4 Decades Playing Together
Beyond the many records and titles, perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Williams Sisters’ doubles career is the longevity. In a doubles career now spanning 25 years and FOUR decades, Venus and Serena have had many peaks and valleys. One thing that has stood out is their always uncanny ability to go without playing for several years and quickly pick up right where they left off.
They won their first major together as teenagers in the 1999 Roland Garros against rivals Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova, 6-3, 6-7, 8-6. This week, they’ll enter their final doubles major together in their early 40s over 23 years later since their first title in New York.
4: 84% Career Win Percentage
In a sport where everyone loses each week apart from the tournament winner, most players would be happy with a 50-60% winning percentage on tour. Not Serena and Venus.
Serena has posted a 190-34 career doubles record while Venus has achieved a 185-37 record. Together, they have a combined 84% career win percentage in doubles with two distinct periods of dominance.
Between 1999 and 2003, Serena and Venus won their first six majors and a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, finishing 68-12 (85%) over this four-year period. Between 2008-2012, they won seven major titles, two Olympic gold medals, and became doubles world No. 1 in 2010. During this stretch, they finished 72-7 (91%).
The Williams sisters’ career win percentage is greater than any of the top doubles rivals of their time across multiple eras:
- Martina Hingis (81%)
- Lindsay Davenport (76%)
- Paola Suarez (72%)
- Cara Black (71%)
- Virginia Ruano Pascual, Lisa Raymond, Rennae Stubbs, Sania Mirza (69%)
Today’s top doubles players also fall short of this record, including Barbora Krejcikova (71%), Elise Mertens (69%), Katerina Siniakova (68%), and Coco Gauff (68%). Time will tell who the next team will be to surpass them.
5: 15-1 in Olympic Doubles with 3 Gold Medals
There’s something about The Olympics that always brought the most inspired tennis from The Williams Sisters. When asked in media interviews, each of them would tell you the Olympics matter just as much, if not more, than the majors among their many career accomplishments.
Serena and Venus have won the doubles gold medal three times in 2000 (Sydney), 2008 (Beijing), and 2012 (London) with an Olympic doubles record of 15-1. Their only loss came to Barbora Strycova and Lucie Safarova in a surprise first round exit at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
That didn’t stop Venus in Rio though, as she went on to capture the mixed doubles silver medal with fellow American and top ATP doubles player Rajeev Ram. Did we mention they both have a singles gold medal too?
6: Major Wins over 15+ Former No.1s
During the Williams sisters’ prime, it had to be frustrating for top doubles players of their era when they showed up out of the blue to knock off seeds, bust up draws and win big titles. They defeated just about every top doubles player and team across multiple eras from the late 1990s to the late 2010s.
Over the course of their 14 major finals, they notched wins over 15 different former No. 1 doubles players: Martina Hingis, Anna Kournikova, Lindsay Davenport, Corina Morariu, Virginia Ruano Pascual, Paola Suarez, Ai Sugiyama, Lisa Raymond, Rennae Stubbs, Sam Stosur, Liezel Huber, Cara Black, Kveta Peschke, Katarina Srebotnik, and Timea Babos.
7: Mixed Doubles Calendar Slam in 1998
While the Williams sisters have spent most of their doubles career playing alongside each other, Venus and Serena also enjoyed their own success in mixed doubles early in their careers. In fact, they combined to win the Williams mixed doubles calendar slam in 1998.
Venus partnered with American Justin Gimelstob to win back-to-back titles at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. Serena teamed up with Max Mirnyi to win Wimbledon and U.S. Open. While their last mixed doubles titles were nearly 25 years ago, both sisters have made a splash on the mixed doubles stage in recent years.
Venus and Serena both entered the mixed doubles draw at Wimbledon between 2019-2022 much to the delight of tennis fans and the All-England Club. Serena partnered with Andy Murray (“Ser-Andy”) in 2019 and Venus partnered with Nick Kyrgios in 2021 and Jamie Murray in 2022. Let’s just say the crowds were entertained.
Meet The Williams Doubles Club
Apart from their impressive records together, Venus and Serena have dabbled in doubles with 13 other partners throughout their careers. Can you name them?
Of the 13 partners, only one of them has played with both Venus and Serena. We asked our Twitter followers and here’s what they had to say…
The answer? Caroline Wozniacki. Venus played with Wozniacki in the 2008 Qatar Total Open and Serena partnered with Caro in one of her last events on tour in Auckland 2020. Turns out their good friends also made for a strong doubles team as they finished runner-up to Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend.
Here is the exclusive list of the Williams Doubles Club:
- Serena’s Partners: Martina Navratilova, Alexandra Stevenson, Alison Riske, Caroline Wozniacki, and Ons Jabeur
- Venus’s Partners: Chanda Rubin, Corina Morariu, Lisa Raymond, Caroline Wozniacki, Liezel Huber, Varvara Lepchenko, Madison Keys, Harriet Dart, and Coco Gauff.
It’s Time to Celebrate Their Doubles Career
The takeaway? We need to celebrate Serena and Venus’s doubles accomplishments more. Their doubles success serves as a great reminder for current top players on the many benefits of playing doubles regularly for their singles career.
Whether they lose the first round, make a deep run, or win the trophy, it will be an unforgettable moment watching Serena and Venus play together one last time in New York.
Where will you be watching Serena and Venus at the U.S. Open? Follow us on Twitter for live updates from Serena and Venus’s doubles matches at the 2022 U.S. Open and let us know where you’ll be watching them play. #WatchMoreDoubles