Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

Venus Williams On Course For Clash With Sister Serena

Venus Williams On Course For Clash With Sister Serena

Venus moved into the third round by beating Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-3, 6-4 in the preceding match. "I was (thinking) I've just got to keep going and do the best I can. So it is what it is".

After finding out she was playing her sister in the next round, Serena said: "I would prefer to play someone else, anybody else, literally anybody else, but it has to happen now".

It was far from a flawless performance but former world number one Serena managed to outlast Kiki Bertens 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 Saturday.

"She looked like she never lost a step", she said.

The early-round showdown is a result of Serena Williams being unseeded in her first tournament back from a 14-month maternity leave. "I definitely don't have a favorite match".

With this win, Serena sets up a highly-anticipated third-round encounter against sister Venus Williams, in what would be their 29th career meeting.

The sisters first played each other in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open, which Venus won 7-6 (7/4), 6-1. "It's a huge difference to play her in the semi-finals or even the quarter-finals or a final as opposed to the third round".

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Serena boycotted the event until 2015.

It was Venus' seventh appearance in the California desert, and third since 2001, after an absence of 15 years.

Serena Williams made an impressive return to court on Thursday, March 8, after winning against Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas. "That's, you know, totally gone out of my mind".

Venus is enjoying a resurgence on the Tour after a string of injuries limited her playing time for several seasons.

But a high unforced error count from Williams opened the door for Bertens, who consolidated the break to love with a hold of her own - completed with an ace for a 3-1 lead. To combat all the negativity she faces, Williams and Nike created a powerful new ad in which the proud new wife and mother proudly claims there's no right or wrong way to be a woman.

The sisters and Richard Williams have denied that any such arrangement took place in Indian Wells, and Dementieva later insisted she had been joking.

Other second-round winners were No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova, 7-6 (4), 6-1 over Irina-Camelia Begu; No. 6 Jelena Ostapenko stopped Belinda Bencic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1; No. 17 CoCo Vandeweghe defeated beat Kaia Kanepi 6-0, 7-6 (6); and Kristina Mladenovic edged Samantha Stosur 7-5, 7-5.

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