For the second successive year at the Australian Open, Venus and Serena Williams toppled top doubles seed Liezel Huber and Cara Black in the finals. With a 6-4,6-3 victory the siblings earned their fourth Aussie title.
After the Williams failed to capitalize on Serena’s forehand crosscourt winner for break point in the opening game, Black came up with two clutch volleys in a multiple deuce game to break Serena for a 3-1 lead. However, for Huber and Black, the elation was brief. Disgusted with her prior play, Serena redeemed herself with a forehand crosscourt winner and mid-court volley winner. When Huber double faulted and committed a miscue on forehand volley, the match was back on serve. After Venus easily held for 3 all, aided by two double faults by Black, Venus and Serena broke for 4-3. As Serena struggled with her serve, Huber and Black had three break chances to level the set. But, as a result of service return errors, Black and Huber wasted their opportunities. After holding serve, Huber and Black resisted surrendering the set. But, on the third set point, Black dumped a forehand into the net, bringing Serena and Venus one set away from defending their title.
With a terrific top spin lob, Serena gave her team break point to start the second set. When Huber’s backhand volley stayed on her side of the net, team Williams secured a 1-0 edge. Once Serena steadied her serve, the pair easily consolidated for 2-0. Although Huber and Black remained close the rest of the way, they were unable to make any progress on the Williams’ games. While serving to prolong the match, ahead 30-0, Huber again double faulted for 30 all. Then, Serena thumped a forehand return. With Huber unable to dig out the volley, the Williams had break/match point. Subsequently, with a great backhand reflex volley winner, Serena sealed the championship. This triumph gave the Williams their 11th doubles majors trophy.
That afternoon, in the mixed doubles semifinal, Ekaterina Makarova and Jaroslav Levinsky prevailed over Flavia Pennetta and Marcelo Melo while top seed Leander Paes and Cara Black beat Lisa Raymond and Wesley Moodie. The winners will face off in the finals Sunday.
In the men’s semifinal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was a virtual spectator as Roger Federer assumed total control of the proceedings. Federer defeated Tsonga 6-2,6-3,6-2 to set up a mouth watering encounter with Andy Murray. Since Murray is one of the selected members of the exclusive club of those with a winning record versus the world’s number one, this should be a fiercely contested final.