Venus Williams upstages sister Serena at Indian Wells

Venus and Serena Williams

Venus Williams upstages sister Serena at Indian Wells

Venus, 37, and Serena have faced each other 28 times in their storied careers and this will be their first encounter since she beat Venus 6-4, 6-4 in the 2017 Australian Open final - Serena's last match before her maternity layoff.

It was their earliest meeting since a 17-year-old Venus beat 16-year-old Serena in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.

When Serena Williams played in that year's tournament final - which she won - she was booed throughout the match.

Venus closed out the one and a half hour match on her second match point when Serena's forehand service return sailed long.

Venus hadn't beaten Serena since the summer of 2014 in Canada, but she had to be considered the favorite in this one given the rustiness of her younger sister's game.

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Serena Williams set up a mouth-watering Indian Wells third round showdown against her sister Venus with a straight-sets victory over Kiki Bertens on Saturday. "The false allegations that our matches were fixed hurt, cut and ripped into us deeply", Serena Williams wrote in a 2015 column published on the website Time.com announcing that would return to the tournament that year, ending a 14-year boycott. "Serena being a mum now, Venus overcame a lot of also hard situations and still playing".

Wozniacki, who will face 20th seed Daria Kasatkina for a spot in the quarter-finals, said: "I was struggling finding my rhythm". "She played so well and it was I think such a treat for everyone to see this match so early in her comeback" said Venus in the on court interview.

Venus Williams, right, hugs opponent and sister Serena Williams after defeating Serena in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, Calif., Monday, March 12, 2018.

"I just have a long way to go", Serena said.

The two locked horns at Indian Wells last night with Venus prevailing 6-3 6-4.

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And she expressed her frustration at her display.

"It never crossed my mind", Venus said. The 36-year-old former World No. 1 wants to trademark the name Aneres, which spells Serena backwards.

It was an unfamiliar situation for Serena, with Venus responding to everything thrown at her, including a pair of break points, which she saved.

"I still have a lot to give".

Elina Svitolina was a shock loser to Carla Suarez Navarro, the Spaniard easing to a 7-5 6-3 win over the Ukrainian fourth seed.

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