Serena Williams to play Venus in Indian Wells third round

Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azerenka is making her return to action at Indian Wells

"I'm a little rusty", she said afterwards, "but it doesn't matter".

She featured in an exhibition match in Dubai and lost to Ostapenko and also played doubles with sister Venus in the Fed Cup.

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

The same applies to Williams back on the court after having a baby, or even a Barbie doll being created in the likeness of the British boxing champion Nicola Adams (albeit one that doesn't look like it would stand up to being tickled, never mind punched).

On International Women's Day, Serena Williams won against Zarina Diyas in her first singles match on the WTA tour since she nabbed victory at the Australian Open while pregnant in 2017. Venus did not end her boycott until the following year. She went up a break for 2-1 in the second set only to be broken right back.

The Guardian reports that Williams received a standing ovation from her family after winning the match.

Serena Williams said of her sister, "She's had such a good year last year and (is) playing fantastic tennis".

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Still showing some rust from her long layoff, Serena hit just one ace and made 37 unforced errors to 32 for Bertens. We have always turned a couple of hard sets. But, when Richard and Venus arrived at the stadium to watch Serena play the 2001 final against Kim Clijsters, they were booed by the crowd of almost 16,000.

The third round encounter between the two Williams sisters is already being touted as match of the tournament.

They have faced each other repeatedly at the other most significant American tournaments, five times at the United States Open, four times in Key Biscayne, Fla., at the tournament now known as the Miami Open. Riding on her momentum, the Dutch had the golden opportunity to extend her lead but failed to convert her chances as Williams sent in several well-placed serves to lessen the deficit. "When she's missing, it's not by much".

Her average first- and second-serve speeds were superior to Williams's on Saturday, and she tried and failed to serve for the opening set before Williams eventually prevailed in a tiebreaker.

Serena, at 36-years-old, is hoping to become the first woman to win three Indian Wells titles.

"I'm just happy to be out here".

"(I was) just trying to work the point, do what it takes to win the point.

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