Williams sisters to team up in Australian Open

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Sydney, Nov 15: Venus and Serena Williams are planning to join forces in the Australian Open women's doubles competition for the first time in five years.

The American sisters have proved to be an almost unstoppable force when they team up even though they only play doubles for fun and rarely practise.

The pair usually need wild cards to get into events because they do not play enough to have a ranking but they have still won six grand slam titles, two each in Melbourne and Wimbledon and one at the French and US Open.

They also struck gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and are one of only five pairings who have won all four women's grand slam doubles titles.

''The Williams sisters in full flight on the same side of the net is one of the great sights in tennis,'' Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said in a statement.

''They are also one of the most skilled pairings on the world circuit with an incredibly successful record in doubles.

They won the Australian Open for the second time in 2003 but did not play doubles again until last year's Wimbledon where they reached the second round before pulling out when Serena strained her ankle in a singles match.

Venus went on to win the Wimbledon singles title for the fourth time. Serena won her third Australian Open singles crown earlier in the year.

''It is great news for Australian tennis fans that they are coming here to play singles and to try and recapture their doubles crown,'' Tiley said.

''We can't get enough of the Williams sisters, especially after Serena's amazing effort in 2007.'' The Australian Open will be played at Melbourne Park from January 14-27.

Reuters>

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