undergroundnewsroom.com April 22, 2018

Williams sisters set for head-to-head showdown

14 March 2018, 06:22 | Gordon Grant

Victoria Azerenka is making her return to action at Indian Wells

Victoria Azarenka

"I'm just doing everything in my power in the beginning of this journey", said Serena after the match.

There was conjecture that her withdrawal had been a family arrangement and Russia's Elena Dementieva said after her quarter-final loss to Venus that she believed the sisters' father and coach, Richard Williams, decided who would win their matches.

"Obviously I wish it was anybody else in the draw, literally anybody, but that's OK".

Venus said it looked like her sister had never been away.

Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - early 29/1/17 Serena Williams of the USA poses with the Women's singles trophy after winning her final match.

And the 36-year-old backed that up with a battling display, which lasted nearly two hours against the spirited Dutchwoman, despite tallying 34 unforced errors. "Great way to come back". Williams's absence from tennis, all 404 days of it, all 14 months, did have the benefit of opening up the field, I suppose, but what a delight for the sport that she's back.

But this year, with Serena now 36 and Venus now 37, they are finally set to play in the California desert.

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"I've had a couple solid weeks playing good tennis and I knew I had a chance today if I competed my hardest and put everything out there", said Collins.

On Sunday, the third round gets underway with Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Jelena Ostapenko and two key matches heldover from yesterday because of the rain with Angelique Kerber down a set to Ekatarina Makarova and Sloane Stephens and Victoria Azarenka affair.

Who will prevail out of Serena and Venus? I really abhor every time we play, but I do enjoy the battle when I'm out there. "So it's definitely a lot easier to play later on".

That was not always the case on Saturday against the Dutch 29th seed as Serena missed some serves by considerable margins and mistimed a few groundstrokes that landed far off the mark. Bertens would rue her missed opportunities, especially after several unforced errors which saw Williams take a commanding lead.

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

She fell behind 3-1 early in the second set but rallied by holding serve in the fifth game.

"I'm just happy to be out here".

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