London: A couple of hours after reaching her seventh Wimbledon final, Serena Williams returned to Centre Court with sister Venus to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the doubles tournament.
The Williams sisters routed Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 6-1, 6-1 in less than hour on Thursday. Venus and Serena are playing a doubles tournament for the first time in two years and are looking for their fifth Wimbledon title together. They’ll next play Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond.
Serena beat second-ranked Victoria Azarenka in straight sets earlier on Thursday to move one win away from her fifth Wimbledon title. Venus was eliminated in the first round of the singles tournament, the latest setback in her return to tennis after being diagnosed with an energy-sapping autoimmune disease.
With Venus’ situation in mind, Serena said another doubles title “would be so awesome”.
“We’re having so much fun,” Serena said. “We played really well today actually. We’re really enjoying ourselves, so we really hope that we can win two [more] matches in doubles.”
Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci’s 25-match winning streak ended when they lost 6-3, 6-4 to Czech duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in their quarter-final match. Errani and Vinci won the French Open and were on the longest winning streak in women’s doubles since 1994.
Hlavackova and Hradecka will next play Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone.
Men’s defending champions Bob and Mike Bryan overcame Scott Lipsky and Rajeev Ram 5-7, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals.
They will face Jonathan Marray of Britain and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark. The other semi-final will feature Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner against Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau, who lost to the Bryan brothers in last year’s final.
The Bryan brothers are looking for a record 12th Grand Slam title overall.
“It would be cool. But we’re not really thinking about it too much,” Mike Bryan said. “We’re just trying to win our next slam. I think we’ll have a bunch of chances to do it. It would be sweet because this is where we got the career Grand Slam in ‘06. A Wimbledon title is pretty sweet but just to add that on to it would be awesome.”