The sports world is often littered with talk of superstars—the stars with the ability to draw a crowd and make a difference. But there’s another star power that rarely receives the same spotlight: doubles teams.
There have been many great doubles pairings in tennis history, but perhaps none as famous as the one which took place in the 2008 Wimbledon Championships.
Between all the mishaps, potential mishaps and controversy over media involvement at the start of the French Open, it’s understandable that you missed Sunday’s announcement that Venus Williams and Coco Gauff would be playing doubles at the tournament. Wednesday’s first-round match will be the first time Williams, 40, who won seven singles titles and 14 doubles titles at major tournaments in her long career, and Gauf, 17, a rising star on the WTA Tour who won both singles and doubles at the Parma tournament, play together. Although they have not been on the same side of the net before, they have met twice – and both matches were won by Hauff. Take your pick and play for a chance to win $1,000! Make your choice It is also the first major doubles tournament Williams has played with anyone other than her sister Serena, and the first for Gauff without her longtime partner and friend Katie McNally, who withdrew from competition due to injury. Still, even the biggest fans of the Williams Sisters of #McCoco have to admit that this new duo is pretty interesting. Before we start thinking about a clever nickname for this duo, let’s look at some of our favorite doubles and mixed doubles teams of late, where two stars have teamed up in unexpected ways. Serena Williams and Andy Murray, Wimbledon 2019 Need we say more? Look at these two names. Together they won 26 singles titles, were nicknamed Serandi, and became regulars in the All England Club. They even played twice on Centre Court, a rarity for mixed doubles at the start of the season. The pair were eliminated in the round of 16, but continue to power the gold standard of mixed doubles. Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic, Hopman Cup 2018 and 2019 The Swiss stars have played in the Hopman Cup as a duo several times in recent years, winning it together in 2018 and 2019. While it would be even more interesting to see the duo together at a Slam or the upcoming Olympics, their partnership has led to many interesting moments over the years – including the match between Federer and Serena Williams (with partner Francis Tiafoe). Ashley Barty and Coco Vandeweghe, 2019 US Open It should come as no surprise to anyone that the world number one can play doubles with anyone – and Barty has really enjoyed that in recent years. She reached the US Open final with Victoria Azarenka in 2019 and is currently playing with reigning Australian Open finalist Jennifer Brady. But his most successful partnership was with Vandeweghe, a US Open semifinalist in 2017. The pair won the 2018 U.S. Open, the first major title for both, and the notoriously intense players celebrated each victory by flossing on the court and then dissolving into bouts of laughter. We made it to the semifinals! @CoCoVandey @ashbar96#USOpen pic.twitter.com/gajFDnTVVh – US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 4, 2018. Sloane Stephens and Eugenie Bouchard, 2018 2 Connected That’s what we’re going to do now: It’s not the most successful couple you’ll read about here. In their only doubles match together at the 2018 Australian Open, they lost in the first round. But they reached the final of the 2017 Citi Open and the quarterfinals of the 2018 Rogers Cup in Bouchard’s hometown of Montreal. And frankly, the combination of two former top-10 players who are still among the most recognizable and social media savvy players on the circuit is just too good not to mention. The two coached together as teenagers in Florida, and their friendship is always apparent when they take the field together or write about it afterwards. Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas, 2018 This is another product that, by its name, falls into a better category. The two superstars (and fellow artists) performed together twice in the summer of 2018 in Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati. They didn’t win a single game, but they still filled all the seats and entertained the crowd. Although it’s quite difficult to get one of the top contenders in doubles in the major championships, as five-set matches are grueling and all, we can only dream of seeing these two play together one day in front of the Melbourne crowd. Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki, 2020 Oakland It wasn’t in the slam either, but we couldn’t pass this pair up. After Wozniacki announced her athletic retirement after the 2020 Australian Open, the old friends decided to get together one last time before she calls it a day. They did it in Oakland, and although they never played on the same side of the net (they met 11 times in singles), the BFFs made it to the finals. Even though they lost in the title race, they clearly enjoyed playing together. I think the only thing I regret in tennis is that I didn’t do it sooner, because I had a lot of fun, Wozniacki said as she presented the trophy on the court. Andy Murray and Jamie Murray These brothers may seem like an unlikely duo in doubles, but due to Andy’s success in singles, they haven’t had many chances to play together over the years. They won two titles together (2010 and 2011) and last played together at the 2019 Citi Open, where they lost in the quarterfinals. They played on the same team for the first time in three years, and that made his mother Judy nostalgic. Washington @CitiOpen double team……… @ATP_Tour pic.twitter.com/EOztrzbPMJ – Judy Murray (@JudyMurray) July 24, 2019. Bethany Mattek-Sands and Iga Sventek, 2021 Roland-Garros As with the Venus Williams – Coco Gauff pair, where the two stars represent different generations, there are 16 years between Mattek-Sands and Svitek and both are undisputed winners. Mattek-Sands has five major doubles titles and Swentek is the defending champion of the French Open in singles. Despite the age difference, the two have a lot of fun. During their first tournament together, the Miami Open in March, they shared dozens of videos and inside jokes from their practice sessions on social media. Their chemistry showed in their matches and they qualified for the semi-finals. They are entering their third tournament together, and these two can do some serious damage.
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