Finance

Serena sets up blockbuster clash with Venus

Serena sets up blockbuster clash with Venus

Seven-time Grand Slam victor Venus Williams moved a step closer to a possible showdown with her sister Serena with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Sorana Cirstea in Indian Wells on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Bulgarian No. 1 has never made it past the third round in seven appearances.

The first set then featured a tiebreak, where just one mini-break separated both players on the scoreboard as Bertens failed to capitalize on her chances, sending a second-serve return wide and therefore, gifting Williams the first set after 54 minutes of play.

She is not yet in prime form, not yet in prime shape, but in her first two matches she has proved she still has staying power, coming to the net effectively, something she appears to be emphasizing in this comeback, and playing the crucial points with trademark intensity.

"But I have to play a seed regardless, sooner than later most times for the next couple of tournaments". She won her first service game to love and flexed her muscles early on with a 100mph serve. "Just have to go out there and see how I am and do my best".

Serena, who lifted her 23rd Grand Slam title in Melbourne previous year, was then already pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia, who was born in September.




Serena and Venus Williams will meet again Monday at Indian Wells in the third round. She takes a career head-to-head record over Venus of 17-11 into their third-round clash.

"Obviously I wish it was anybody else in the draw, literally anybody, but that's O.K.", Serena Williams said of their latest rematch. "Whether I win or lose, there's so much more to my life".

Other second-round winners Saturday included second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark, fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, seventh-seeded Caroline Garcia of France and 12th-seeded Julia Goerges of Germany.

Serena Williams, of the United States, waves and leaves the court after defeating Zarina Diyas, of Kazakhstan, during the first round of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., Thursday, March 8, 2018.

The Australian toughed it out in a first set tiebreaker before easing to a 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 victory.

The 15th seed lost to her unheralded compatriot in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 (7-1). The defending champion was 6-3, 2-2 up when the rain gods intervened Saturday.


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