Venus and Serena Williams – 2016 French Open Doubles

The order of play for Wednesday at the 2016 French Open includes Serena Williams and Venus Williams, players who will join forces once again as doubles partners in a Grand Slam.

Serena and Venus Williams both won their first-round singles matches on Day 3 from the 2016 French Open. On Day 4, which is Wednesday, the two will once again partner up in doubles for what represents a reunion of sorts.

The Williams sisters, the most successful doubles team in modern tennis, have not partnered in a major since the 2014 US Open. But before then they had won each Grand Slam in doubles multiple times, include the French Open twice already.

In the first round, Serena and Venus will face the team of Yulia Putintseva and Jelena Ostapenko. These are two players who are each, minimally, ranked outside of the Top 200 in doubles. In fact Putintseva is incredibly unproven in doubles tournaments, currently ranked 870th in the world despite an improving singles career. The two players have limited experience as partners, having only teamed up once at the 2016 Australian Open. In that tournament they lost in the first round in straight sets.

Since the Williams sisters stopped consistently challenging for doubles titles, the team of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis has emerged as the biggest force in women’s doubles. Currently ranked No. 1 in the world, they hold all of the majors as they look for what would be a clean sweep of the Slams at the 2016 French Open. Hingis and Mirza are on the side opposite of the draw to the Williams sisters, meaning if the two collided in the draw it would only happen in the final.

While that match-up would be a blockbuster match in women’s doubles, it still has to be viewed as unlikely to take place. While Roland Garros 2016 is the first time the Williams sisters have partnered in a major since late 2014, they did partner up in Rome a couple weeks ago. In that effort they lost in the first round to a little-known Slovenian team.

The good news for fans of the Williams sisters is that rain isn’t in the forecast for Wednesday. Furthermore, the Williams’ doubles match will be third on the order of play for Court 2, with a stadium start time of 11am (5am ET). If you afford at least 3.5 hours for the first two matches to complete, then the Williams’ match projects to a start time of about 9am ET, meaning American tennis fans won’t have to be early risers to catch this match. The Williams’ doubles match is scheduled to follow the men’s singles match between Teymuraz Gabishvilli and Benoit Paire.

Shane Lambert