March 23, 2018

Williams sisters to meet at Indian Wells after Serena outlasts Kiki Bertens

12 March 2018, 02:24 | Pamela Mathis

Serena Williams Wins in First Tennis Game Since Giving Birth

In Serena Williams's Comeback, a Familiar Opponent: Venus

Seven-time Grand Slam victor Venus Williams moved a step closer to a possible showdown with her sister Serena with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Sorana Cirstea in Indian Wells on Saturday.

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

"I'm just so happy to be out here", Serena Williams said.

"I'm getting there. I have a long way to go".

Venus beat Sorona Cirstea of Romania in her second-round match 6-3 6-4.

Her victory was made all the more sweet by her being the returning hero at Indian Wells, a venue she and her sister, Venus, had boycotted until as recently as 2015, after reports of racism against their family and that notorious booing by the crowd in 2001, and by the fact that she gave birth in September. "I haven't played in a long time".

While Williams used her serve to stay out of trouble, Diyas displayed a solid forehand, saving four break points to hold the lead at 3-2 in the first set and even receiving applause from Williams for a attractive forehand on the run at 0-40.

"She's playing really well and just honing her game", said Venus Williams, who watched the Diyas match from the stands. "I was (thinking) I've just got to keep going and do the best I can".

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

It will be the earliest meeting between the two since their first professional match in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.

Bertens won just 55 percent of her service points, and Williams managed to convert five of her nine break-point opportunities.

Elsewhere on Saturday, fourth seeded Elina Svitolina defeated Germany's Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-3.

Roger Federer led Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-3, 2-2 when their match was delayed by a heavy drizzle 56 minutes after it began.

The 34-year-old Spaniard is now scheduled to face Taylor Fritz of the United States, who is also unseeded, after he beat Russia's Andrey Rublev 6-4, 7-6.

On the men's side, No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov was upset by Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 and No. 16 Fabio Fognini went down against Jeremy Chardy 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem beat Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

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