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Williams sisters suffer shock doubles defeat

Venus (L) and Serena Williams of the U.S. talk during their women's doubles match against Elena Vesnina and Vera Zvonareva of Russia at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis championships in London, June 30, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

LONDON (Reuters) - Serena and Venus Williams’ stranglehold of women’s doubles was ended at Wimbledon on Wednesday when the American sisters were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Vera Zvonareva and Elena Vesnina.

A 3-6 6-3 6-4 defeat to the Russian duo ended Venus’s tournament after she suffered a shock defeat to Bulgaria’s world number 82 Tsvetana Pironkova in the last eight of the women’s singles on Tuesday.

The Williams’ title at the French Open earlier this month was their 12th together in grand slams and meant they held all four majors at the same time.

The top seeds and champions here for the past two years had not dropped a set on their way to the quarters but Venus sent a return into the net to seal their fate and end an awful couple of days for the 30-year-old.

Zvonareva is also in the singles semi-final against Pironkova after beating former world number one Kim Clijsters on Tuesday.

Serena is left to fly the flag for the Williams family in the other women’s semi-final against Petra Kvitova.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Alison Wildey