Doubles for the first time since 2014
It will be the first time they are pairing up since the US Open in 2014. The pair have also never played together in Rome before. The decision to play together was mostly induced by the upcoming Olympics as they look to get some doubles action before the event in August. Their last title on clay came in the French Open in 2010.
In the 2014 edition of the US Open, they lost to eventual winners Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in the quarterfinals. The last silverware they won together was at the 2012 Olympics where they clinched the gold medal. The pair had enjoyed huge success at the Olympics, having won in the doubles in 2000 and 2008 as well. With their sights set on this year’s Olympics, the Williams sisters would be going for their third consecutive gold medal placing.
Having entered the draw as wildcards, their first opponents will be Andreja Klepac and Katarina Srebotnik. If they successfully reach round two, they set up a clash with second seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova. Also in their half are the Czech pair and fourth seeds of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka and the in-form French team of Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, who have just won their third straight title.
The other half consists of top seeds Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis who have yet to win a title since their triumph in St. Petersburg and who were also runners up last year. Also in the top half are the third seeds, Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova. Babos is the defending champion with then partner Mladenovic but they now play with different partners.