Venus Williams prevailed over younger sister Serena Williams in a blockbuster battle, needing just two sets to make her way into the 16 of the BNP Paribas Open in California.
It was the sisters’ earliest meeting since a 17-year-old Venus beat 16-year-old Serena in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open. And they were at it again on Tuesday morning for the first time since last year’s Australian Open final, when a pregnant Serena won her 23rd Grand Slam title.
Venus, 37, took her 12th victory in 29 face-offs with an impressive 6-3, 6-4 victory in an hour and 30 minutes.
“It’s never over until it’s over,” Venus said. “Serena came roaring back.
“I’m just lucky that right now I’ve played more matches then her.
“Serena played so well, it was a treat for everyone to see this match so early in her comeback.”
Up next for the eight-seeded Venus is Latvian Anastasija Sevastova, who beat Julia Goerges in straight sets 6-3 6-3.
Meanwhile, second seed Caroline Wozniacki came from two breaks down in the second set as she beat Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-4 2-6 6-3 in a struggle lasting two and a quarter hours, while Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro upset fourth seed Elina Sviolina, 7-5 6-3.
Caroline Garcia beat Daria Gavrilova 7-5 6-4 to set up a match with Angelique Kerber, who beat Elena Vesnina 7-5 6-2.