Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Indian Wells: Williams sisters to face each other

Indian Wells: Williams sisters to face each other

The reward is a match-up with older sister Venus, after the eighth seed saw off Sorana Cirstea 6-3 6-4.

Serena Williams said of her sister, "She's had such a good year last year and (is) playing fantastic tennis".

Whether it be her inability to smile during a competition, or her visceral reactions whenever she scores a point, (or oftentimes win) Williams has merited the ire of many in the sports world and online.

Serena - a two-time champion at Indian Wells - was far from her free-flowing best against Bertens Saturday but she battled past the 26-year-old after nearly two hours on court.

Serena was already pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia, who was born on 1 September, when she beat Venus 6-4 6-4 in Melbourne.

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I love Williams with the slightly ungainly fervour of a teenage pop crush.

The 36-year-old Federer had taken a set from Federico Delbonis 6-3 with the second tied at 2-2 when rain stopped play.

"She looked like she never lost a step", Venus said of her younger sister.

Spectators vented their displeasure with the withdrawal during the final, booing Serena and jeering her sister and father Richard Williams when the pair arrived to watch the match.

"My comeback could not have come on a better day and I decided I wanted to do something different let you all be a part of my long journey back", she added. "This whole month I am playing tournaments in California and Florida- both my home states", she wrote. Serena has a 17-11 head-to-head lead.

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Venus achieved victory behind winning 81 per cent of Cirstea's second service points, leading her to six breaks of serve during the match.

The 23-time grand slam champion was broken early on, but hit back to get things back on serve.

The breaks continued to go back and forth, with the second set seeing four in a row by the time the scoreline reached 3-3. Ekaterina Makarova of Russian Federation led 10th-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3 when their match was stopped in the opening game of the second set with Kerber holding a break point.

Other women advancing to the third round on Saturday included defending champion Elena Vesnina who beat American CiCi Bellis 2-6, 6-1, 6-1.

Ukrainian Svitolina won five titles in 2017, comprising Toronto, Rome, Istanbul, Dubai and Taipei City.

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The third-round match will be their earliest meeting in a tour event since their first duel as professionals, when Venus Williams won, 7-6 (4), 6-1, in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.

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