Venus Williams and Serena Williams met in the final of the 2009 WTA Championships in Doha, Qatar.

The Setting

Though she had qualified for the season-ending WTA Championships in 2007 and 2008, Serena Williams had been unable to make it through the round-robin portion of the event due to injury on both occasions. Earning a spot once again in 2009 at the most exclusive tournament in the women’s game on the strength of two Grand Slam titles, the American—who won the title back in 2001 and finished as the runner-up in 2004—made it through the round-robin portion and semifinals unscathed to reach the final.

There, she would face the defending champion, Venus Williams, who advanced to the semifinals despite dropping two of her first three matches—including what was arguably one of the best contests of the year against Serena on the second day, which she lost in a third-set tiebreak.

The Final

Near the start of the year, Venus Williams had snatched victory from Serena Williams in the Dubai semifinals in a third-set tiebreak. Serena turned the tables on their Middle East matchups in the round-robin portion of this tournament to help set up this rubber match. Feeling the effects of a long season, both players took the court with the finish line in sight. Serena was the fresher of the two, having spent hours less on court over the course of the week than her sister and it showed as she raced through the opener 6-2.

In the second set, though, Venus dug deep to match Serena serve for serve throughout the bulk of the frame. The two eventually found themselves in yet another tiebreak, with Venus looking to extend her season a little longer, while Serena aimed to put the brakes on her campaign. The younger Williams eventually went up 5-2 before Venus mounted a mini-rally. Serena struck an ace to take her to 6-4, then secured victory off a forehand winner, giving her her first non-Grand Slam win of the year at the last tournament of the decade.

Notable Numbers


For the second time in her career, Serena Williams secured the year-end No. 1 ranking.


This was the only the sisters’ third time one of their 11 finals against each other wasn’t at the Grand Slam level, with the other two happening a decade earlier in Miami and at the Grand Slam Cup.


Serena ran her winning streak to four matches over Venus, the second-longest stretch of her career. From 2002 to 2003, she won six straight over her older sister.

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