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MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Multiple grand slam champions Serena and Venus Williams withdrew from women's doubles competition at the Australian Open on Wednesday before first round action got underway.
Tennis Australia, which handles all of the withdrawals for the tournament, were unable to give a reason why the 13-time grand slam and three-time Olympic champions were unable to play their match against 11th seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shedova.
Irina Falconi and Petra Martic took the Williams sisters' place in the draw, though were beaten 6-3 6-3 by the Spanish/Kazakh pairing.
Medina Garrigues and Shvedova will now face either the pairing of Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson or Mirajana Lucic-Baroni and Lisa Raymond.
Both Serena and Venus play their second round singles matches on Thursday.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty