In Serena Williams's Comeback, a Familiar Opponent: Venus
14 March, 2018, 06:26 | Author: Barbara Daniel
It was Venus' seventh appearance in the California desert, and third since 2001, after an absence of 15 years.
The duo last met in the final of the 2017 Australian Open, where Serena edged pass Venus 6-4 6-4 to claim her 23rd Grand Slam singles title.
Serena, who lifted her 23rd Grand Slam title in Melbourne a year ago, was then already pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia, who was born in September. The sisters remain extremely close and played doubles together just last month during a Fed Cup match against the Netherlands in Asheville, N.C.
Serena Williams and her competitive comeback continued at Indian Wells as the 23-time grand slam champion earned a memorable third-round showdown with sister Venus.
Asked about the semi-final match that never happened, Serena said she has tried to forget.
"I'm getting there. I have such a long way to go", Serena said. "Everything is a bonus".
Venus was complimentary of her sister's performance in her first tournament back since her long layoff.
Venus Williams said of her sister's form in her return to action, "She looked like she never lost a step".
The family denied any such arrangement and Dementieva later insisted she had been joking. Fans who felt cheated of a chance to see the siblings play, thinking it was a tactic orchestrated by their father Richard, booed Serena during her final triumph against Kim Clijsters.
Serena - a two-time champion at Indian Wells - was far from her free-flowing best against Bertens Saturday but she battled past the Dutchman after nearly two hours on court.
They have faced each other repeatedly at the other most significant American tournaments, five times at the United States Open, four times in Key Biscayne, Fla., at the tournament now known as the Miami Open. "I'm just out here on this journey and doing the best I can".
The two players were then tied at two games each in the second set before play was called off for rain. "When she's missing, it's not by much".
Venus won 61 percent of her first-serve points and broke Cirstea's serve six times.
She hit just one ace and made 37 unforced errors to 32 for Bertens, whose average first-and second-serve speeds were superior to Serena's on Saturday. It was good. I'm a little rusty, but it doesn't matter. I'm still making errors that I don't normally make.
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Serena's shot went wide to set up her sister's first match point. "I'm playing a completely different player, new challenges. Venus Williams won 6-3, 6-4 against little sister Serena in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday night.
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