Serena doubles up on wins with Venus; Sisters capture doubles against Rubin and Testud; U.S. Open


NEW YORK -- What does a new U.S. Open champion do the day after her big victory?

If the champion is Serena Williams, she teams with her sister Venus and goes out and wins the women's doubles title.

The Williams sisters defeated Chanda Rubin and Sandrine Testud, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.

"I've now won all three events," she said. "I'm thinking maybe next year I should try to enter the men's event and see if I can at least win a round. It's a pretty exciting [thought]. Just hope not to play anyone like Andre or Pete in the first round."

Serena joins Margaret Court, Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova as the only women to have won singles, doubles and mixed doubles at the Open.

And yesterday, she and Venus were enjoying every moment.

"I love winning," said Venus, who also has two mixed doubles titles to her credit from the Australian and French Opens. "This is great and I'm very happy."

Serena said she hasn't had time to celebrate her singles title yet. She beat No. 1 Martina Hingis, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), on Saturday and said her on-court celebration and having to play a women's doubles semifinal match left her so tired by the time she left the United States Tennis Center after 10: 30 p.m., that she simply went back to her hotel and fell asleep.

"She'll celebrate with her credit card," said Venus.

"Yeah, I guess that's where my celebrating unconsciously comes in."

She'll have a lot to spend, given she won $750,000 for her singles win and she and Serena will split $330,000 for their doubles win.

Serena, you're $915,000 richer.

"Whoo-hoo!" she said, laughing.

"You have a quarterly [tax] to pay pretty soon," reminded her older sister Venus.

"I should have asked [President Bill Clinton], 'How about cutting me a deal,' " said Serena, still laughing, referring to her celebratory call from President Clinton after winning the singles.

Spray irritation

For the past two weeks, a worry for many in the greater New York City area has been a St. Louis encephalitis scare. The illness, spread by mosquitoes, is said to have caused three deaths and numerous illnesses.

Over the weekend, the city began spraying the area and yesterday was Queens' turn. The exercise was so close to the tennis center during the Andre Agassi-Todd Martin match that the crowd and players in Arthur Ashe Stadium suffered irritation as the spraying fumes floated into the stadium causing eyes and throats to burn and sinuses to be irritated.

The players, however, said they hardly noticed.

Star-studded audience

The stadium was again filled with celebrities yesterday. President Jimmy Carter and wife Rosalynn were here again. So, too, was Walter Cronkite, the former CBS news anchor, and spotted way up in the balcony, above the mezzanine, newly retired Steffi Graf.

Pub Date: 9/13/99

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