Serena and Venus Williams successfully defended their women’s doubles tennis crown at the London Olympics today.
The American sisters, who also won the event at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, beat Czech pair Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-4 at Wimbledon’s Centre Court.
The siblings embraced and jumped up and down after Venus won the match with a backhand volley after a well-placed serve by her partner.
They’re the first women pair to win back-to-back Olympic titles since fellow Americans Gigi Fernandez and Mary Joe Fernandez took gold in Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996.
“The first one, I didn’t realize what was happening,” Venus Williams said. “The second one, I realized what was happening. But this one, it was definitely a fight. This is probably the sweetest one, I can’t wait to touch the medal and put it around my neck.”
The doubles medal comes almost a year after Venus Williams withdrew from the U.S. Open, announcing she was suffering from the energy-sapping Sjogren’s syndrome.
Although the five-time Wimbledon champion has since struggled in singles, she’s done well in doubles, also winning the Wimbledon title with her younger sister Serena a month ago.
Serena yesterday also won the singles gold medal, beating Maria Sharapova of Russia.
“Venus has been going through so much and she’s so strong and she’s so amazing,” she said. “To win this here was my goal all year, to get to the Olympics and win doubles gold. I wanted to win singles but my main goal was doubles.”
Venus Williams now has her sights set on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“I’ve always been thinking Rio, I think that would be a great way to go out on a high note,” she said. “I’ve got four more years of great tennis ahead of me, to figure out my life and get as well as possible.”
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