Serena Williams put her controversial U.S. Open singles exit behind her on Monday as she and sister Venus claimed the women’s doubles title at Flushing Meadows.
The Williams sisters, seeded fourth, defeated the defending champions and top seeds Cara Black and Liezel Huber 6-2 6-2 in 89 minutes. The match came 40 hours after Serena had been knocked out of the singles by Kim Clijsters, the Belgian having won match point when the American was punished with a point penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, her second code violation of the match. Before the doubles final got under way, Serena issued an apology to the line judge she verbally abused during her semi-final defeat, amending a previous statement in which she had pointedly not made any such gesture. During the trophy presentation ceremony at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the sisters were greeted with cheers from the crowd as they were interviewed by Patrick McEnroe.
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“It was definitely exciting, congratulations to our opponents, and I would like to thank my fans for everything,” Serena began before being interrupted by applause. “I really love you guys and I don’t ever want to have a bad image for you guys. You fans are my number one and I love playing here in New York. I love playing with Venus.” McEnroe touched on the incidents of the past two days and invited Serena to address them to her fans. “I think I said it all,” she replied. “I love my fans, but most of all I’m really excited to be here and play another match with Venus. Thank you Venus for allowing us to win today. It was great, we’re excited.” McEnroe pressed Serena on what had made her issue the amended statement and while she laughed the crowd booed before Venus interjected, saying: “What I think the crowd is saying is, Patrick, let’s move on.” That prompted more cheers as the question was sidestepped. Williams had been fined $10,000 for her tirade and could face the loss of her $350,000 prize money as a losing semifinalist or a possible suspension from future grand slams after the Grand Slam Committee began a further investigation into the incident. The former champion went some way to compensating for that potential financial loss as she and sister Venus picked up a $420,000 winners’ cheque after claiming their 10th doubles career grand slam title together and third of the year, following success at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. The Wimbledon doubles title had also been at the expense of Huber and Black in a 6-1 6-2 thrashing and the Americans were similarly dominant in front of a thin crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium as the final grand slam of the year stretched into an extra day following the heavy rain delays of late last week. The Williams sisters hit the ground running and just kept going, Zimbabwe’s Black failing to win a game on serve and she and her American partner Huber winning just two points on their second serves.