Serena Williams sets up Venus clash, Caroline Wozniacki also through
Venus and Serena Williams will play each other for the first time since the 2017 Australian Open final after they both came through their second-round matches at Indian Wells on Saturday.
After only returning to the WTA Tour this week following maternity leave, Serena started the tournament unseeded and had to start in R1 instead of getting the usual bye.
However, she saw off Zarina Diyas on Thursday and then beat 29th seed Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 to set up a third-round encounter against her sister.
“She started out really strong,” the 36-year-old said. “I was (thinking) I’ve just got to keep going and do the best I can.
“I’m just happy to be out here. Everything is a bonus.”
Venus, meanwhile, beat Sorana Cirstea of Romania 6-3, 6-4.
“I mean, she looked like she never lost a step,” the American said of the 23-time Grand Slam winner. “Great way to come back.”
The two have met 28 times in their professional careers with Serena leading the head-to-head 17-11.
Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki also booked her third-round place with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Lara Arruabarrena in one hour and 27 minutes.
“It was definitely not an easy match,” the world No 2 said. “The courts are extremely slow and the bounce is extremely high. You definitely have to grind out there. There are no easy points.”
Wozniacki will take on Aliaksandra Sasnovich in the third round after the Belarusian beat 28th seed Anett Kontaveit 6-2, 6-4.
Defending champion Elena Vesnina also advanced as she saw off American CiCi Bellis 2-6, 6-1, 6-1; fourth seed Elina Svitolina beat Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-3 and the 12th ranked Julia Goerges beat Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-4, 6-1.
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