Serena and Venus Williams to meet in third round of BNP Paribas Open
The Williams sisters will face off for the first time since the 2017 Australian Open final after Serena saw off Kiki Bertens 7-6 (7/5) 7-5 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.
It will be the 29th time the Americans have met each other on the WTA Tour, as the younger of the sisters plays in her first competitive tournament since the birth of her daughter last September.
Serena Williams found herself down 5-3 in the first set, but broke back as the set went into a tie-break which she took on the last of four set-points.
Bertens, ranked 29, was broken in the second as Williams served for the match at 5-4, but the next three games all went against serve. Williams, 15-40 down at 6-5 and serving for the match, held out to take the match in one hour 53 minutes.
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.
Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki also advanced, courtesy of a 6-4 6-1 victory over Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena.