Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Venus eclipses sister in desert

Prodigy				Jason Kempin  WireImage Prodigy Jason Kempin WireImage
Rita Gibson | 14 March, 2018, 23:27

Halep attended 37-year-old Venus Williams' straight-set victory over 36-year-old sister and new mother Serena on Monday night.

Though she's arguably the greatest tennis champion of all time, with 23 Grand Slam titles, Serena said she has a long way to go before she's back to her usual dominant form. Halep reclaimed the ranking just before Indian Wells.

Wang was the last Chinese player standing in the California desert, having achieved a career best result in Indian Wells by reaching the round of 16. Belgium's Clijsters appeared to be the fan favorite that day, despite the fact the siblings grew up close by in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton.

There was a loud roar as Serena Williams walked onto the main stadium court at the BNP Paribas Open, wearing a bulky black jacket and black tights.

"It's never over until it's over", Venus said. It was their earliest meeting in a WTA Tour event since their first duel in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.

"I think she should have been actually number one seed in this tournament because she left as number one in the world".

No one would dispute that.

Venus broke Serena at love in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead in the first set. She was then slated to take on Venus. Wozniacki blew a 3-0 lead in the first set and was on the run most of the match before losing for the second time this year to the 20-year-old Russian. Serena was the number one seed while Venus followed in number.

The sisters - as ever - exchanged a hug at the net.

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Serena was already pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia, who was born on 1 September, when she beat Venus 6-4 6-4 in Melbourne at the start of 2017. "We had 10 days of practice, because Marat was practicing for an exhibition he had in London", she explained.

"It's definitely not less disappointing", Serena said. "I wish it were, but it's not". Then I wouldn't be who I am.

"I didn't really feel comfortable out there today (and) didn't really get my game going the way I wanted to", the Danish victor said.

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

"I haven't played in over a year", Serena said in quotes on the WTA's official website. My room for improvement is incredible. "I don't want to go backwards". So I have just got to keep saying each tournament my goal is just to be better than the last.

Venus still has to go forward in in Indian Wells, whereas many of their previous tussles have taken place in finals and thus would have seen the victor hoist the trophy.

Venus thus wasn't dwelling on her win Monday. Halep will have to get past unseeded Croatian Martic, who has yet to drop a set so far.

If Williams makes it through her quarterfinal match, she will again play back-to-back matches Thursday and Friday.

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