Sister Showdown: Venus Beats Serena To Reach 4th Round At Indian Wells
Venus Williams has beaten her sister Serena for the first time in four years, reaching the fourth round of the Indian Wells Masters 6-3 6-4.
Venus finished off the 36-minute opening set with back-to-back aces and broke early in the second set against her sibling, who is playing her first WTA event since giving birth in September.
There was a slight hiccup as Venus was broken while serving for victory, with Serena saving a match point to stay alive. But Venus finally put a lid on the night two games later after one and three-quarter hours.
Serena’s last official event was the 2017 Australian Open, which she won while two months pregnant with her daughter. The victory for 37-year-old Venus was the 12th in 29 face-offs.
Serena, now unranked after leaving the Tour for more than a year during her pregnancy and early motherhood, had won eight of the previous nine matches between the sisters dating to 2014 when Venus beat her in a Montreal semi-final.
Meanwhile, French seventh seed Carolina Garcia put out Australian Daria Gavrilova 7-5 6-4, coming from 4-2 down in the opening set. Second seed Caroline Wozniacki came from two breaks down in the second set as she beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-4 2-6 6-3 in a struggle lasting two and a quarter hours.
“I didn’t really feel comfortable out there today (and) didn’t really get my game going the way I wanted to,” the Danish winner said. “I managed to get my feet going more, and managed to start playing more steady, and that paid off.”
Former number one Angelique Kerber, seeded 10th, will be the next opponent for Garcia after defeating Russian Elena Vesnina 7-5 6-2 while breaking seven times. Rising Russian Daria Kasatina added to the misery for luckless US open winner Sloane Stephens, handing the slumping American her tenth loss in 13 matches since winning the grand slam title in September, 6-4 6-3.