Venus Williams v Serena Williams: Indian Wells third round

Sisterly act in offing

However, in the time when play was possible Spaniard Fernando Verdasco used his powerful serve to upset third seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3.

She got her first match point on an error from her opponent but Serena saved it with a backhand passing shot.

Prior to stepping away after Australia last season, Williams played eight WTA events in 2016, down from 11 in 2015 and 15 the year previous.

Venus' last defeat of her younger sister was at the Canadian Open in 2014, where she prevailed in a three-set semi-final.

Elsewhere in the women's draw there was a surprise defeat for WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships victor Elina Svitolina.

The fans' reaction in California came after Venus pulled out of her semifinal with Serena just before the tussle, citing a knee injury.

They played Monday night for the first time since last year's Australian Open final, when a pregnant Serena won her 23rd Grand Slam title.

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Serena and Venus have faced each other 28 times in professional tournaments, the most recent being the aforementioned Australian Open final in 2017. But at Indian Wells, one journey has to be halted for the other to progress.

Reflecting on her match with Venus that was never played at Indian Wells all those years ago, new mom Serena said Saturday: "I literally didn't even think about it".

The Williams family believed their treatment was racially motivated.

Serena Williams set up a mouth-watering third round showdown against her sister Venus with a straight-sets victory over Kiki Bertens here at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. In fact, it's the first time they've met before the Round of 16 since their very first head-to-head matchup more than 20 years ago.

Serena Willians meets with Venus Williams for the 29th time on Tuesday at Indian Wells and here are five fast facts you simply have to know before the action starts.

"I still have a lot to give. So I'm like, 'Okay, I need to not be so negative, even though it's hard", she said. "Just have to go out there and see how I am and do my best". "I definitely miss her, all I can think about is wanting to get back as fast as I can".

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