Indian Wells: Serena and Venus Williams to meet in third round

Serena wins

Serena Williams continued her tennis comeback with a 7-6 (5), 7-5 win over Kiki Bertens at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday, setting up a third-round encounter with her sister Venus.

Serena, who gave birth to her first child in September, set the stage for an anticipated third-round match with her sister, Venus Williams.

The first set could have gone either way as Bertens troubled Williams, though the Dutchman's serve proved to be her downfall.

Williams will now face older sister Venus, whom she beat in the Australian Open decider at Melbourne Park previous year.

The 23-time Grand Slam victor answered some of those questions Thursday by blasting four aces and winning 63 percent of her first-serve points against a tough opponent who claimed her first WTA title a year ago in Tokyo.

"I literally didn't even think about it", Serena Williams said on Saturday. Williams's absence from tennis, all 404 days of it, all 14 months, did have the benefit of opening up the field, I suppose, but what a delight for the sport that she's back.

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Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki also advanced, courtesy of a 6-4 6-1 victory over Spain's Lara Arruabarrena.

Venus achieved victory behind winning 81 per cent of Cirstea's second service points, leading her to six breaks of serve during the match. "I call this a trial run, of traveling with the baby and all of this is just so new to me". Serena leads Venus 17-11 all-time and has won eight of their last nine meetings, most recently the Australian Open final a year ago.

This is the earliest they will face each other since that Melbourne meeting 20 years ago.

The crowd's treatment led to a 14-year boycott by the sisters, which Serena finally ended in 2015. Ekaterina Makarova of Russian Federation led 10th-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3 when their match was stopped in the opening game of the second set with Kerber holding a break point. She won four of the final five games of the second set, breaking Cirstea three times to close it out.

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina reached the third round by beating Mona Barthel of Germany 6-4 6-3, while defending champion Elena Vesnina dropped the first set to Catherine Bellis but battled back to triumph 2-6 6-1 6-1.

The highest-seeded player to fall was No. 15 Madison Keys, who lost 6-3, 7-6 (1) to fellow American Danielle Collins.

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