Serena Williams ousted from Indian Wells by sister Venus

Jonathan Hernandez
March 13, 2018

This was the first singles tournament of her comeback, and she arrived with no official ranking and no seeding, which explains how she and the 8th-seeded Venus wound up facing each other in the third round.

Venus, 37, and Serena have faced each other 28 times in their storied careers and this will be their first encounter since she beat Venus 6-4, 6-4 in the 2017 Australian Open final - Serena's last match before her maternity layoff.

That levelled the score at 30-30 and Wozniacki won two out of the next three points she needed to take the third set and the match in the $16 million joint WTA/ATP hardcourt tournament.

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

It brought closure to the once testy relationship between Indian Wells and the sisters who hail from the Los Angeles suburb of Compton.

She joined American upset winners Sachia Vickery, who beat No. 3 seed Garbine Muguruza; 16-year-old wild card Amanda Anisimova, who beat No. 23 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova; and wild-card teenager Caroline Dolehide, a three-set victor over No. 30 Dominika Cibulkova on Friday.

Wozniacki had been one of seven women who held the No. 1 ranking who hadn't won a Grand Slam when she triumphed in Melbourne in January.

"I have a lot to improve on", she said.

In an essay for Time magazine just before her return, she made it clear she feels much of the vitriol was racist in nature.

It will be their earliest meeting since the sisters' first match in the series, a straight-sets victory by Venus in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.

Venus has only beaten Serena once since 2009, but the younger sister has just returned after becoming a mother.

The crowd's treatment led to a 14-year boycott by the sisters, which Serena finally ended in 2015. "Seventeen years seems like forever ago". It closer to home for the new mom and she won't have to travel far from her practice grounds. Then, it just happened, and I was like, 'I don't know.' I just dove right in.

The sisters have often said the other tennis playing sibling is their toughest opponent.

When Serena is missing some of those shots, she says she isn't being as harsh on herself as in the past with her daughter in mind.

She takes a career head-to-head record over Venus of 17-11 into their third-round clash. And I go, 'Serena, you're doing good, you're doing good no matter what.

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