Venus Edges Serena Williams in Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open

Ruben Hill
March 14, 2018

An unwanted rivalry with roots going back 20 years had its latest chapter on Monday night at the BNP Paribas Open, with Venus Williams beating sister Serena 6-3, 6-4 in the third round for her first win over her younger sibling since 2014. "It was good to play and try to get in the rhythm and get into the swing again".

It was the 29th meeting between the Williams sisters and it lasted 87 minutes in front of a main stadium crowd of more than 10,000 fans. It was also their first duel at Indian Wells, 17 years after Venus pulled out of their semifinal with a knee injury.

Serena returned to the tournament in 2015 and Venus a year later.

"Obviously I didn't want to play Venus so early on, but it can happen", Serena said following the match. I don't know how long Serena (and Venus, for that matter) has left at the top, but I wouldn't bet against her getting back on track.

No one would dispute that.

Wozniacki overturned a 4-1 deficit in the opening set as she reeled off five successive games to take the lead. She saved a break point at 5-4 though with a potent serve into the body while another big serve clinched victory on a second match point. Serena is famed for some of her comebacks but Venus indeed held firm.

The sisters - as ever - exchanged a hug at the net.

And sister Venus complemented her: "Her level was super high. I think it's such a treat for everyone to see this match so early in her comeback", Venus said.

Venus meanwhile was the more solid, striking 19 winners and 21 unforced errors in the tricky conditions of Indian Wells, where the balls zip through the air but then are tempered by a slow hard court.

Though she's arguably the greatest tennis champion of all time, with 23 Grand Slam titles, Serena said she has a long way to go before she's back to her usual dominant form. "Didn't really get my game going the way I wanted to". "I have a lot to improve on". You know, it's good that I don't have to say that this is the best tennis I have ever played and I lost.

He added that he hoped Serena would continue to combine tennis and motherhood successfully, saying: "I think that's going to be a huge story, maybe the story of the year. I'm getting there. It's not exactly where I want to be, but I'll get there eventually".

I'm definitely not thinking too far in the future.

The seven-time major victor defeated Serena for the first time since 2014, while claiming her first straight-sets win against her youngster sister since 2008, despite a late stumble.

Venus thus wasn't dwelling on her win Monday.

Venus was leading 5-2 when she wasted a match point and the 37-year-old needed to fend off a break point in the 10th game before closing it out.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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