Serena, Venus, Paes Shine
for Kastles at Wimbledon
Serena Williams holds her fifth Wimbledon trophy up high.
(Photo by Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA)
Wimbledon has been very good to the Washington Kastles over the years, and the 126th edition of the sport's premiere tournament was no different.
Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Leander Paes of the Kastles all competed in finals over the weekend at the All England Club, with Serena and Venus' win in women's doubles marking the 25th Wimbledon title captured by current Kastles.
That victory came nine hours after Serena took to Centre Court for the women's singles final, which she won 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 over first-time Grand Slam finalist Agnieszka Radwanska
Seeking his fifth Wimbledon title overall, Paes fell just short in mixed doubles with Elena Vesnina
on Sunday. U.S. Olympians Mike Bryan
and Lisa Raymond
defeated the Indian/Russian duet 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in the last match of the tournament.
The Kastles' championship weekend began with Serena racing through the first five games against Radwanska, blasting aces off her serve and return winners off the No. 3 seed's second serve.
After clinching the first set, Serena appeared well on her way to the fifth Wimbledon singles championship of her illustrious career.
But down 1-6, 2-4, Radwanska held serve and then won the turning point of the set. The Pole prevailed in a 22-shot rally with a down-the-line backhand winner, preventing Serena from taking a 5-3 lead and helping her extend the match into a third set.
Any momentum Radwanska took into the final set was erased with Serena serving at 1-2. The fifth-year Kastle hit four of her Wimbledon-record 102 aces to even the score.
That love service hold sparked Serena to finish the match the way she started it: winning five consecutive games. She collapsed to the grass in victory following a perfectly-timed inside-out backhand winner on match point.
Serena (July 22
) and Venus (July 16
) are playing in DC for the Kastles this season.(Photo by Fred Mullane/Camerawork USA)
After a jubilant display of emotion during the trophy ceremony, and a lengthy five-set men's doubles final, Serena returned to Centre Court with sister and fellow Kastle Venus.
Their task was the same that Serena faced in her singles final: to win a fifth Wimbledon title. Mission accomplished as the Williams sisters defeated 2011 French Open champions Andrea Hlavackova
and Lucie Hradecka
With that victory, Serena and Venus improved to 38-2 at the All England Club, where they will again play women's doubles in less than a month during the Olympic Games.
Serena and Venus now hold the same number of women's singles and doubles titles at Wimbledon, but little sister has a slight edge overall. In 1998, Serena and Max Mirnyi
won the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon.
In Sunday's mixed doubles final, Paes was playing for his fifth overall title at Wimbledon with a fifth different partner. He and Vesnina arrived in the championship match after defeating Bob Bryan
and Liezel Huber
in a three-set semifinal on Saturday.
That gave Raymond and Mike Bryan an advantage in the final as the Americans undoubtedly consulted the losing semifinalists for strategy. Bob Bryan is Mike Bryan's record-setting men's doubles partner, while Huber and Raymond are the top-ranked women's doubles team.
Like his Kastles' teammates Serena and Venus, Paes will compete at Wimbledon again beginning July 28. His Olympic partners are Vishnu Vardhan
in men's doubles and Sania Mirza
In total, five different Kastles' players won 21 matches at Wimbledon, which meant that 19 I LOVE DC tennis ball T-shirts were awarded randomly to fans who retweeted the winning results on Twitter.
The Kastles' final two victories -- Serena's championship double -- were commemorated with the giveaway of two pairs of tickets to see the Kastles' home opener Thursday night against the New York Sportimes.
It's no wonder Washington's Facebook
pages are the most popular social media sites of any team in the league. If you haven't done so already, be sure to like
the Kastles today.
Elena Vesnina and Leander Paes were also runners-up at the Australian Open.
(Photo by Susan Mullane/Camerawork USA)