Indian Wells: Rain played spoilsport as Roger Federer's return to the men's section of the BNP Paribas Open was interrupted during his second round match against Federico Delbonis. But, after two straight-set wins at Indian Wells, a highly-anticipated and hoped-for showdown is happening.
That this is Indian Wells, a tournament that holds plenty of history for the Williams sisters, makes it an even more loaded contest. Serena Williams, however, is back on court after surviving a post-natal ordeal, which she said nearly took her life away.
This is the first time the siblings will play each other at the BNP Paribas Open.
The sisters were due to play each other in the semi-finals of the 2001 edition of the tournament, however, Venus pulled out with injury just four minutes before the match. In other matches, fifth seed Dominic Thiem beat Greek 19-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 while South African seventh seed Kevin Anderson overcame Russian Evgeny Donskoy 7-5, 6-4. She said their father, Richard, would probably decide - an insinuation that their matches were rigged.
Despite being one year younger, Serena has emerged on the right side of this encounter far more than her older sister has over the course of their professional careers. "The undercurrent of racism was painful, confusing and unfair", she wrote. I love it. I love her so much. She got her first win of the year against Sorana Cirstea (6-3, 6-4) on Saturday, but she couldn't have gotten a much more hard third-round draw, as she's lost three straight and five of the last six against the 23-time Grand Slam victor.
Asked about the semi-final match that never happened, Serena said she has tried to forget.
"That's, you know, totally gone out of my mind". "Seventeen years seems like forever ago".
This is the earliest the sisters will be playing in a tournament since the 1998 Australian Open, when they met in the second round.
Serena went on to beat Kim Clijsters in the final, but was booed throughout the match and during the presentation ceremony as fans believed the Williams' were match fixing.