BNP Paribas Open: Williams sisters win to set up third round clash

Serena Williams will play Venus Williams in the third round at Indian Wells after both sisters impressed in their respective second round matches.

36-year-old and the younger of the two, Serena, beat Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 7-6(5) 7-5 to move into the third round.

Serena, who is returning to the sport after taking more than a year away to have a baby, was ragged at times, but used her power to wear down the Dutch 29th seed in an hour and 52 minutes.

“She started out really strong,” Serena 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, advanced to the third round with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Romanian Sorana Cirstea in just 79 minutes.

Venus Williams in action during her second round match at the BNP Paribas Open in California

The Williams sisters have never played in the Californian desert, and last faced off in the Australian Open final last year (which Serena won in straight sets). Monday’s third-round showdown will take place 17 long years after the first time the two were scheduled to play in Indian Wells, and it’ll serve as yet another homecoming.

“Having to play each other in the third round, one of us is going to be gone,” Serena said. “I would prefer to play someone else, anybody else, literally anybody else, but it has to happen now. So it is what it is.”

Elswhere, Ukrainian fourth seed Elina Svitolina also reached the third round in California by beating German Mona Barthel 6-4 6-3. She will play Carla Suarez Navarro next.

Also, world number two Caroline Wozniacki steamed her way into the third round with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Lara Arruabarrena

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