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Bondarenko sisters win Australian Open doubles title

Bondarenko sisters win Australian Open doubles title

Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko came from a set down to win against Victoria Azarenka and Shahar Peer.

Melbourne: Ukraine's Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko overcame sibling rivalry to win their first women's doubles title at the Australian Open on Friday.

The sisters came from a set down to win 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 against 12th seeds Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Israeli Shahar Peer in a match lasting nearly two hours and uncharacteristically dominated by baseline rallies.

"Last year we play not very good doubles because sometimes we fight on the court," Alona Bondarenko said.

"But now we start to listen each other and understand, and maybe that's the key."

It was the first time the Bondarenko sisters had won a doubles title in their 38th tournament playing together.

Their previous best was reaching three semi-finals in WTA Tour events.

They had the chance to serve for the match at 5-2 but were broken before sealing victory on their first match point at 5-4 when Azarenka hit a backhand return into the net.

They said they would continue to play both singles and doubles - Alona was seeded 21st in the singles at Melbourne Park - but would prefer not to meet each other in tournaments.

"Yeah, for me it's not easy because she plays more winners (and has a) good serve, good shots," Alona said of her younger sister. "For me it's very tough because she knows me and can easier win with me."

first published:January 25, 2008, 16:20 IST