PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – While the rain has probably gotten the most attention at this year’s US Open in New York, in between storms some great tennis has been played, including by a local favorite who has once again won a title.

Wayne, Pa.’s Lisa Raymond partnered with Liezel Huber to win the women’s doubles title yesterday, taking care of Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3).

“It’s kind of surreal,” Raymond says.  “It hasn’t really hit me yet that we actually pulled that off yesterday.  It was a bit of a nail biter out there, winning 7-6 in the third set.  But I’m enjoying it, that’s for sure.”

Raymond and Huber have only been playing together since May, and Raymond says their pairing is a work in progress.  But moments like Sunday, she says, are what it’s all about.

“The reason we started playing together was to win slams, and hopefully to play in the Olympics next year.   It’s a good partnership because we are both pretty much in the same places in our careers.  We are older — veterans, I guess you could say.  And we have the same goals.  It’s been, like I said, a work in progress, and certainly all the hard work has paid off, as it did yesterday.”

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This was Raymond’s third women’s doubles title at the US Open — each won with a different partner.  In 2001 she teamed up with Rennae Stubbs, and then in 2005 she won the title with Samantha Stosur.   (That’s the same Samantha Stosur who won this year’s women’s singles title on Sunday with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Serena Williams.)

Even without that title, this year’s US Open would have been special for Raymond because it was the 23rd consecutive year she has taken part in the event.   In the Open era, no player, male or female,  has appeared in more consecutive US Opens, and only Martina Navratilova has played in more overall.

Yesterday’s win also enabled the Raymond, 38, to pass Billie Jean King as the oldest women’s doubles grand slam champion.

“I didn’t have any idea yesterday about the possibility of breaking Billie Jean King’s record.  When they interviewed me afterwards and they told me that, again to even be in the same breath as Billie Jean King, is just an honor.  So the fact that I was able to do that, and what you just said about Martina, these are people that you put on pedestals and you just put in these categories that are almost untouchable.   To think that I can, again, be put in the same breath or sentence as these people . . . it’s pretty humbling.”

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060

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