Serena Williams set up a mouth-watering Indian Wells third round showdown against her sister Venus with a straight-sets victory over Kiki Bertens on Saturday. She won her opening match at the ETA Indian Wells event with a 7-5, 6-3, victory over Zarina Diyas.
But when the siblings face off under the lights in Indian Wells, California, it will still be a hugely significant occasion for the Americans who have combined to win 30 majors and transcended tennis.
Headliners in the men's field include defending Miami Open champion Roger Federer, who won his 20th major title at this year's Australian Open; six-time Miami Open champion Novak Djokovic; Australian Open finalist Marin Cilic; and former U.S. Open Champion and crowd favorite Juan Martin del Potro.
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Serena chose to return in 2015, whilst Venus came back to Indian Wells in 2016.
The 29th professional contest between the pair will take place in the first match of Monday's night session. So it's definitely a lot easier to play later on.' On watching her sister get good results throughout the last season, Serena stated, 'I didn't watch a single match of hers.
Not only is Venus now more match fit - this is her 13th WTA event over the past 12 months, and Serena's first - but the earlier in the tournament they play each other, the more it has favoured Venus.
When she entered the court, she was given a loud ovation from the packed arena, with many in the stadium standing and applauding her third appearance in Indian Wells in the last 17 years. I have a long way to go.
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"It's a huge difference to play her in the semi-finals or even the quarter-finals or a final as opposed to the third round".
"That's, you know, totally gone out of my mind". "Seventeen years seems like forever ago".
In 2015 Serena returned however the tournament will always bring back tough memories for both.
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