Venus Williams defeated Serena Williams at Indian Wells on Monday night in the 29th clash between the superstar siblings.
Venus’ 6-3 6-4 victory was her first over her younger sister in nearly four years and sends her through to the last 16.
There she will meet Anastasija Sevastova, who earlier on Monday beat 12th seed Julia Goerges in straight sets.
“She played so well and it was I think such a treat for everyone to see this match so early in her comeback,” Venus said on court.
“I always know that it’s never over until it’s over, and she just came roaring back. I had chances for the match to be over, but it wasn’t, and I’m just lucky that I’ve played more matches than her right now.”
"I haven't played in over a year. It's definitely not less disappointing. I wish it were, but it's not. But then again, I wish it wasn't. Then I wouldn't be who I am. I just have a long way to go, and I'm looking forward to the journey." — Serena Williams
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) March 13, 2018
Indeed, Venus held a match point at 5-2 in the second set, but grew increasingly nervous and error-prone as Serena began to close the gap on the scoreboard.
Despite a double fault and two forehand errors in the final game, Venus was able to seal victory on her second attempt to serve out the match.
It is the first time Venus has beaten Serena in straight sets since the Wimbledon final of 2008.
That late wobble aside, it was a masterful performance from the world No.8.
After three long, tense games to open the match, Venus clicked into gear, breaking serve in the sixth game and then consolidating it with a service hold for a 5-2 lead.
She completed the set with 12 winners to Serena’s eight, and just seven unforced errors to her sister’s tally of 17.
Serena: "I'm missing shots that I never miss. I'm in the margin, at least, I'm not where I'm going to be, but I'll get there eventually" #BNPPO18
— Ubitennis (@Ubitennis) March 13, 2018
Immediately broken in the second set, Serena held a 40-15 lead in the third game but still couldn’t get on the board, eventually double-faulting to fall behind 0-3.
Venus held a game point for 4-0 but Serena would go on to smack a forehand return winner to stay in contention at 1-3.
Venus opened up a 5-2 lead – thanks to impressive serving into the body and magnificently struck forehand drives – before Serena staged her short-lived comeback.
— WTA (@WTA) March 13, 2018
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