It wasn’t easy, but the Williams sisters made a winning start to their French Open doubles campaign on Wednesday, battling back to get past No. 14 seeds Shuko Aoyama and Miyu Kato, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Aoyama and Kato—who have nine WTA doubles titles between them, eight for Aoyama and one for Kato—came out strong, breaking Venus’ serve in the opening game and hanging onto that break until they had the set. Six games later they found themselves up 6-4, 3-3, three games away from a win.

That’s when the Williams sisters—wild cards at the French Open—found their range, reeling off nine of the next 11 games to completely run away with the match. Serena served the final game of the one-hour, 56-minute victory at love.

WATCH—Serena and Venus win their opening doubles match in Roland Garros:


The win was actually the Williams sisters’ first doubles win since they captured their 14th Grand Slam women’s doubles title together at Wimbledon on Saturday, July 9, 2016—690 days ago.

After her loss in singles earlier in the week, Venus was asked about the doubles—and despite the disappointment of her individual result, she seemed excited to get back to winning with her sister.

“Yeah, we haven’t played in forever,” Venus said.

“I’m hoping that we’ll get out there and kind of just start where we left off.”

As if their singles accomplishments weren’t legendary enough, the Williams sisters are one of the greatest doubles teams of all time, too. With 14 Grand Slams—including two here at Roland Garros, in 1999 and 2010—they have the second-most Grand Slam women’s doubles titles for a team in the Open Era, bettered only by Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver, who won 20 majors together.

The Williams sisters are now 124-15 in Grand Slam doubles matches together.

Next up for the Williams sisters will be Sara Errani and Kirsten Flipkens, or the French wild card team of Clara Burel and Diane Parry. Errani is a five-time major champion and former No. 1 in doubles.

Williams sisters win their first doubles match in almost two years

Williams sisters win their first doubles match in almost two years

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