By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 09, 2002 01:00 AM
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The women have it. The Wimbledon doubles final won by Serena and Venus Williams during the weekend drew a bigger TV audience than the men’s singles final between Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian, according to the Nielsen ratings reported by the Associated Press. On Saturday, the Venus-Serena women’s singles final earned a 4.6 Nielsen overnight rating, while their doubles match on Sunday — against French Open champions Paola Suarez and Virginia Ruano Pascual, in straight sets — averaged a 3.4 from 12:15 to 1:50 p.m. ET. At its peak, the match earned a 4.0 share. (Each rating point represents an estimated 1,055,000 households, or 1 percent of America’s TV homes. The share is the percentage of homes tuned to a particular program measured only against households in which TV is being watched at that time.) Earlier Sunday, Hewitt’s three-set victory over the unknown Nalbandian averaged a 2.8, peaking at 3.1. But the men’s final had three strikes against it: two rain delays and an early-morning time slot. Beyond those measurements, Serena Williams, 20, officially moved up to No. 1 in the WTA Tour rankings Monday, the first time she has pulled ahead of sister Venus, 22. Serena is the 11th woman to lead the computer standings since they started in 1975, says the AP. She replaces Venus, who has had three stretches as No. 1 for a total of 11 weeks since February.