Venus steers her sister to promised title

Having deprived her little sister of a Wimbledon singles title earlier in the day, Venus Williams lived up to her promise that “Serena deserves a win so I’m going to try even harder” when they teamed up for the doubles final last night. Big sister was supreme at the net and with Serena taking out her frustration at the earlier loss, opponents Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur were despatched 6-2 6-2 in less than an hour.

Fittingly, it was the sisters’ 100th victory in tandem, bringing with it a third Wimbledon doubles title to follow those of 2000 and 2002. This year’s could hardly have been more emphatic, as they stormed through 12 sets without losing one. Yesterday the first set was won in exactly half an hour, preying on Raymond’s service to break her twice. The key game in the second set was the fifth, in which Stosur endangered the umpire with a wildly mis-hit serve, then found Venus returning the next one right at her feet for a 3-2 lead.

After Raymond lost four points in a row for another break, the honour of serving for the Championship went to Venus, who made the most of it, finishing things off with a perfect lob on to the baseline. Although victory was never in doubt, the match at least contained plenty of the exciting rallies traditionally expected of an evening doubles match on Centre Court.

That was in sharp contrast to the disappointingly dull men’s doubles final which preceded it. In it, Jonas Bjorkman, the 36-year-old Swede who is retiring at the end of the current year, was denied a fourth Wimbledon title. He and Zimbabwe's Kim Ullyett, seeded eighth, went down 7-6 6-7 6-3 6-3 to Daniel Nestor of Canada and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia.

Playing in front of a Centre Court crowd who probably wished they were watching Laura Robson, and a Royal Box initially containing only two occupants, the quartet produced what was – according to taste – either a powerful display of serving and volleying or monumentally predictable fare. The tone was set from the start, with barely a sniff of a break or even anything resembling a rally in the opening dozen games. Zimonjic's serving, reaching 133mph, was especially strong, as he demonstrated with three aces in the first game of the match.

In the first set tie-break, 10 points went with serve before Zimonij raised his fist on triumph after achieving a mini-break and set point by means of an unexpectedly deft cross-court pass. His partner, alas, wasted the opportunity by clipping a backhand wide. And so it went on until, at 13-12 there was finally a genuine rally at the net which ended with the left-handed Nestor playing the winning shot for the second seeds. The 26 points made it the longest in a mens doubles final.

Oddly both men were born in Belgrade, Nestor then moving to Canada when he was four years old. Runners-up at the French Open last month and winners at Queen's, they were on a winning streak of nine matches, having reformed as a pair last autumn after playing together seven years ago, but they were both chasing their first Grand Slam title. Nestor was in a Wimbledon doubles final as long ago as 2002 when also up against Bjorkman, while Zimonjic was a loser here in 2004 and 2006.

Bjorkman had achieved a hat-trick in the event with Australia's Todd Woodbridge from 2002-4. With Ullyett, who is also 36 and only two months younger, he had denied the fancied top seeds Bob and Mike Bryan, the American twins, a fourth successive final by knocking them out in the semi-final.

As the second set followed the same pattern as the first, a long evening was in prospect. Another tie-break duly followed, although this time two errors by Zimonjic put his team on the defensive at 2-5 and they lost it 7-3.

In the third set, it was the Serbian who forced a breakthrough with a fine backhand down the line and the match's first break of serve, at the 28th attempt. Nestor and Zimonjic, though facing a break point for the first time, held out for 6-3.

Nestor forced the breakthrough in the fourth set and their opponents, restricted to one break point in the whole match, could hardly complain about the outcome.

Earlier, in the girls' doubles semi-final, the unseeded Britons Jocelyn Rae, 17, from Nottinghamshire and Jade Curtis, 18, from Cornwall took the first set off sixth seeds Jessica Moore of Australia and Polona Hercog of Slovakia before going down 4-6 6-3 6-4.

Jeremy Bates, partnering Anders Jarryd in a light-hearted senior doubles against Henri Leconte and the 52-year-old clown prince Mansour Bahrami, kept Laura Robson waiting for her final on Court One while achieving a third successive win in their round-robin group. They will contest the final against Ken Flach and Robert Seguso.

Britain's last representatives in the wheelchair event, the teenagers Gordon Reid and David Phillipson, lost their semi-final to the defending champions Robin Ammerlaan and Ronald Vink of Holland, 6-0 6-2.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas