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Venus Williams, Coco Gauff Teaming Up for Doubles at 2021 French Open

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVMay 30, 2021

United States' Venus Williams reacts after missing a point against United States' Jennifer Brady during their match at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament in Madrid, Spain, Friday, April 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
AP Photo/Bernat Armangue

Venus Williams and Coco Gauff will play together in women's doubles at the 2021 French Open.

The women's draw was announced Sunday, with Williams and Gauff surprising many with their partnership. The Americans have never been teammates on the Grand Slam stage. They will face No. 13 seeds Ellen Perez and Zheng Saisai on Wednesday.

Gauff previously beat Williams at Wimbledon in 2019 and at the 2020 Australian Open. The 17-year-old has been off to a strong start in the 2021 calendar year, moving up to a career-best No. 25 in the world. She previously reached the quarterfinals in doubles action at the 2020 and 2021 Australian Open with partner Caty McNally.

Williams has 14 doubles Grand Slams on her mantle, winning all 14 titles with her sister, Serena. Venus has not gotten past the second round of a singles Grand Slam event since the 2019 Australian Open.

"They're just really great role models for me," Gauff said of the Williams sisters in 2019. "My whole life I looked up to them, even now I still look up to them, and my game is kind of modeled a little bit after them."

Both women begin their singles tournaments Tuesday.

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