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Williams sisters crash out of women's doubles in first round

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Serena Williams prepared for Olympic health concerns

RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Three-time Olympic women's doubles champions Serena and Venus Williams crashed out of the Rio Games tournament in the first round on Sunday as the American sisters' unbeaten run dating back to Sydney 2000 came to a surprising end.

The top seeds fell 6-3 6-4 to Czech pair Barbora Strycova and Lucie Safarova, ending any hopes of claiming a third successive Olympics doubles crown after they won gold in Beijing eight years ago and again at London 2012.

SEE MORE: Everything you need to know about the Summer Olympics

The sisters won their first doubles gold in Sydney but a knee injury prevented Serena from playing at Athens in 2004. They have also won 14 women's doubles grand slam titles, to go along with a combined tally of 29 major singles crowns.

AP: Williams Sisters Ousted in Rio

After their loss, Serena was philosophical about the result and preferred to focus on the success of one of the greatest ever doubles pairings.

"I wouldn't stay it's devastating... we had a chance to compete for our country, we did the best that we can. We had a blast out there," Serena, 34, told reporters.

RELATED: Venus vs. Serena Williams through the years

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Venus vs. Serena Williams through the years
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Venus vs. Serena Williams through the years
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Serena Williams of the United States serves in her Ladies' Singles Fourth Round match against Venus Williams of the United States during day seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Venus Williams of the United States plays a forehand in her Ladies' Singles Fourth Round match against Serena Williams of the United States during day seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Serena Williams of the United States serves in her Ladies' Singles Fourth Round match against Venus Williams of the United States during day seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Serena Williams of the United States hugs Venus Williams of the United States after their Ladies' Singles Fourth Round match during day seven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 6, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
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"We've had so many Olympic doubles golds, so many grand slam championships. It's been unbelievable."

Both women have also won Olympic gold medals in singles play, with Venus triumphing in Sydney and then Serena becoming champion in London.

Earlier on Sunday, Serena crushed Australia's Daria Gavrilova 6-3 6-2 in her first round singles match, a day after Venus was eliminated by Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens. (Reporting by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Andrew Hay and John O'Brien)

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