Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Welcome back! Venus ends Serena Williams's return to action at Indian Wells

Welcome back! Venus ends Serena Williams's return to action 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's another quite big match for me, and I will go out there, try to play like I played the last weeks and try to enjoy the next match". "I played against her at the end of a year ago", Kerber said. "So it is what it is".

Serena was notably featuring in her first competitive event since her Australian Open win and pregnancy that followed, but along with her sister, has had to deal with health issues and injuries in the past. Despite some nerviness and almost squandering a double break lead in the second set, Venus closed it out what was a relatively routine victory. "So obviously I want to work on getting my ranking to where I can just feel good about it", Williams, who is now un-ranked, said.

"Everything is a bonus", said Serena after winning in one hour, 52 minutes on her second match point.

Serena was a mere shadow of her past self and managed to win just 54 percent of her first serve points in the first set.

She takes a career head-to-head record over Venus of 17-11 into their third-round clash.

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.

This is the earliest they will face each other since that Melbourne meeting 20 years ago.

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The older sister tried to move her opponent who started very aggressively on return games.

Serena said she is trying not to look too far into the season.

While she showed plenty of flashes of her strong play that should scare the rest of the field going forward, Venus was the better player in this one. "Serena being a mom now, Venus overcame a lot of also hard situations and still playing".

The crowd's treatment led to a 14-year boycott by the sisters, which Serena finally ended in 2015.

Collins, ranked 116th and making her first appearance in the main draw, is just starting her second year on the WTA Tour. She marked the occasion with a gold-toned "S" Serena pin that was available to fans who came to see her play.

"I have a lot of goals".

Venus told reporters that she never counted the 23-times grand slam champion as out of the match.

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