Venus Williams defeats sister Serena

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One sister is rusty, just beginning a comeback after having a baby.

"It's definitely not less disappointing", Serena said as she reflected on the defeat.

Williams, who is the oldest female player in the draw at 37, rallied back in the second set to book her spot in the quarter-finals. "It nearly doesn't matter, but it would just be unbelievable to see her do it now".

The slow, high-bouncing court at Indian Wells suits Sakkari's game, who says it works well with her kick serve and forehand spin, and she'll try to do more of the same when she faces Osaka in round four.

"I didn't really feel comfortable out there today (and) didn't really get my game going the way I wanted to", the Danish victor said. "I had chances for the match to be over, but it wasn't". There were several rough stretches early in the first set where you might have thought that it would be easier for Williams to ease out of the match quietly and begin focus on her next tournament.

Three breaks helped Wozniacki move 5-3 ahead and she came within two points of levelling the match, but Kasatkina responded once more to win four successive games to seal a straight-sets victory.

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"I definitely know her well, but she definitely played a little bit better than she normally does", Serena said.

"It was honestly a very good match, well-competed on both sides", Williams said. "She just did everything great".

There was a slight hiccup as Venus was broken while serving for victory, with Serena saving a match point to stay alive. But Serena cracked a backhand victor down the line for deuce. She was then slated to take on Venus. Serena is famed for some of her comebacks but Venus indeed held firm.

"I missed too many shots in the first set". "At least they're in the margin. I don't want to go backward". "It's just afterwards I don't like it as much".

The sisters - as ever - exchanged a hug at the net.

A stone-faced Serena exited the court to cheers, pointing her right index finger in the air. "I knew that I had to change something, but I didn't realize what it was exactly", she said. "My room for improvement is incredible", added Serena. She can for sure play well. But 36-year-old Serena was unseeded in this event.

Serena won her first two matches, while Venus received a first-round bye and won her opening match.

VENUS WILLIAMS, victor of the latest battle between the sisters, crediting her fitness for the win. With a day to rest mentally and physically, Williams is the clear favorite in the match, especially on the hard courts of Indian Wells.

The sisters were supposed to play each other in the desert in 2001.

Venus was in control of the match, despite some unforced errors and several double faults, throughout.

Richard Williams said he heard slurs from the crowd and he paused to shake his fist at them. It was also their first duel at Indian Wells, 17 years after Venus pulled out of their semifinal with a knee injury.

Serena returned to the tournament in 2015 and Venus a year later.

The defending champion next plays Jeremy Chardy while Australian Open semi-finalist Chung Hyeon upset 12th-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4 to set up a round-of-16 clash with Pablo Cuevas today.

"It never crossed my mind", Venus said.



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