"From the very beginning, they were very interesting to follow".
It took years for those wounds to heal, years during which the sisters faced many other health problems but still managed to bestride the tennis ranks into their 30s. Serena returned to the tournament in 2015 and Venus a year later. The other is rejuvenated at 37, back in the world's top 10. For Serena, it's a notch in the comeback belt: Play in a tournament - check.
After 14 months away from professional tennis, Serena Williams, now a mother, is healthy and hitting hard, but not enough to beat her sister Venus.
"It wasn't easy, obviously", said Serena, who was in her first event since beating Venus in the 2017 Australian Open final.
No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina was the biggest upset victim Monday, losing 7-5, 6-3 to 27th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro, while No. 12 Julia Goerges also fell 6-3, 6-3 to No. 21 Anastasija Sevastova. "She was asking what she was doing wrong, and I was trying to tell her she was rushing too much", Mouratoglou said.
Well from the very first game, the intensity on court was palpable. Not to be outdone, Serena fought off four deuces in a marathon seven and a half minute second game.
In their 29th career meeting, Venus prevailed in two tight sets, 6-3, 6-4. Serena ended the match with a forehand failing to find the court, one of her 41 unforced errors.
Venus broke Serena at love in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead in the first set. Venus won just four more points than Serena overall - we can use first names here, because chair umpire Juan Zhang chose to go that route. She emphatically closed out the 36-minute set with back-to-back aces that clocked 108 miles per hour and 120 miles per hour.
"I really abhor every time we play, but I do enjoy the battle when I'm out there".
Had Serena played the previous year, perhaps the outcome would've been different.
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"It's good that I don't have to say that this is the best tennis I have ever played and I lost", Serena said.
Wozniacki said the court conditions were hard but she managed to make adjustments.
Venus Williams served up a can of whoop ass on her little sister Serena Williams-a tough and familiar opponent-and cut her long-awaited comeback short at the BNP Paribas Open. "It's just that she is out of touch... give her a couple of tournaments and she will be back at her best". It's definitely not less disappointing, I wish it was. But then again, I wish it wasn't. "Yeah, so I just have a long way to go, and I'm looking forward to the journey".
And sister Venus complemented her: "Her level was super high".
Unseeded American Danielle Collins continued her unlikely run with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Sofya Zhuk of Russian Federation. She got off to an very bad start in 2018, losing in the Round of 128 in the Australian Open, but she's a high-ranked, terrific player.
After her 6-3 6-4 defeat, Serena sent out a warning that her scope for improvement is massive and she will be targeting an improvement at her next tournament.
Hsieh and Strycova saved three of seven break points and converted four of nine, taking advantage of the Chan sisters' four double faults to win 75 of the 141 points contested and advance to the quarter-finals.
Also competing for a quarter-final place will be No7 seed Caroline Garcia, who beat No26 seed Daria Gavrilova for the first time in six meetings, 7-5, 6-4.
Meanwhile, defending champion Elena Vesnina was bundled out by Angelique Kerber earlier in the day. She moved better than she had in the exhibition matches she played before returning to WTA play here at Indian Wells. Previously, the same name was used to secure a clothing line, but Serena has apparently switched up her focus to beauty.