Serena sets up third-round clash with Venus; Dimitrov ousted

Doug Mendoza
March 12, 2018

The match on Monday will be the first time the two sisters will clash on court since the final of the Australian Open a year ago, which Serena won, though she was already pregnant. She then served out for the match, but only after saving a further two break points.

"I've never been the right kind of woman". I have such a long way to go. "Too motivated for motherhood, but I'm proving time and time again there's no wrong way to be a woman".

Serena Williams, of the United States, waves and leaves the court after defeating Zarina Diyas, of Kazakhstan, during the first round of the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., Thursday, March 8, 2018. I've played her several times before and we always have a couple of tight sets, but it was good, you know, I'm a little rusty...

Saturday's match was a struggle at times for Serena as she looks to regain her rhythm after an extended layoff.

Serena, who gave birth to her first child in September, set the stage for an anticipated third-round match with her sister, Venus Williams. "When she's missing, it's not by much".

"Obviously I wish it was anybody else in the draw, literally anybody, but that's okay", she said. The Dutchwoman was the better player early and served for the opening set at 5-4, but couldn't close falling in the end 7-6 (5), 7-5.

Venus and Serena have faced each other 28 times in their legendary careers and they are now meeting in Serena's first tournament back on the WTA Tour since she beat Venus 6-4, 6-4 in the 2017 Australian Open final. "I'm just out here on this journey doing the best I can".

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"I'm really happy that I won this first-round match".

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine beat Germany's Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-3 while compatriot and No. 12 seed Julia Georges defeated Russia's Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-4, 6-1.

The start of the match had been delayed several minutes by light rain in a precursor of worse weather to come.

American Sloane Stephens, the 13th seed, had her scheduled match against Belarus' Victoria Azarenka pushed back to Sunday afternoon.

No other spectator present that day has confirmed publicly that such statements were made.

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