Serena tops Venus for French Open title; Nestor and Knowles drop final
This time, it was Serena's turn in the spotlight.
Serena Williams beat older sister Venus 7-5, 6-3 on Saturday to capture her first championship at the French Open.
It is the second Grand Slam title of her career and her fourth championship of the season.
In the men's doubles final, Canada's Daniel Nestor and his partner Mark Knowles of the Bahamas lost a close 7-5, 6-4 match to Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands and Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
Nestor, a left-handed doubles specialist from Toronto, and Knowles failed in their quest for a second straight Grand Slam title. They won the Australian Open earlier this year.
The last time Nestor and Knowles played in the French Open final was in 1998 when they lost to Haarhuis and his countryman Jacco Eltingh.
"We play for the big matches, it always hurts a lot to lose a final," said Nestor. "But they were just a better team. They used their opportunities better and the pressure was on us."
In the first sister-sister final in Roland Garros history, Serena was far more consistent than her sister and took advantage of a poor service game from Venus to snap a three-game winless streak against her elder sibling at the Grand Slams.
Serena, who won seven straight games at one point, broke Venus' serve six straight times to win the first set and go up 4-1 in the second set.
After holding serve to go up 5-3, Serena broke her older sister for the eighth time in the match and captured her first Grand Slam since winning in Flushing Meadows back in 1999.
"I just want to thank Venus for supporting me all the way and just being the best sister in the whole world," Serena told the crowd at the trophy presentation.
It wasn't the prettiest match at the tournament.
The 20-year-old Serena double faulted five times in the match and committed 54 unforced errors, compared to Venus, who had nine double faults and 47 unforced errors.
"I think that both of us wanted to win so much we were a little tight out there," Venus said after taking pictures of Serena during the post-match ceremony.
"It was a tough match and I think the best player won. I did my best."
By virtue of Serena's semifinal win over Jennifer Capriati on Thursday, the sisters will hold the top-two spots in the WTA Tour rankings. Venus will be No. 1 and Serena will move up to second.
It marks the first time that sisters and African-Americans will hold down the lofty positions.
"Venus is No. 1 on paper and hopefully I can get there soon," said Serena, adding she was a "solid No. 2."
Serena, who improved to 9-1 this year versus players ranked in the top six in the world, pocketed $586,618 with the victory, while Venus settled for $293, 309.