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Top 5 Serena Vs Venus clashes
14 March 2018, 11:23 | Charlene Valdez
Venus Williams consoles her sister Serena after winning their third round match at Indian Wells on Tuesday
Venus Williams continued her fine form to reach the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with a straight-sets victory over world number 20 Anastasija Sevastova.
Anisimova, a 16-year-old wild card, won her first three WTA Tour matches at Indian Wells, beating Pauline Parmentier, No. 23 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and two-time Wimbledon victor Petra Kvitova without dropping a set.
The Romanian was in the stands for the Williams sisters' third-round match in California, which Venus won 6-3 6-4.
Venus finished off the 36-minute opening set with back-to-back aces and broke early in the second set against her sibling, who is playing her first WTA event since giving birth in September.
The next afternoon, Venus Williams lost her first two service games to Sevastova. They played Monday night for the first time since last year's Australian Open final, when a pregnant Serena won her 23rd Grand Slam title. "You can see she's hitting the ball without thinking, but everybody is playing like this when they are 16". With a day to rest mentally and physically, Williams is the clear favorite in the match, especially on the hard courts of Indian Wells. A packed stadium awaited their semifinal but shortly before the match was to begin Venus withdrew with a right knee injury.
Rising Russian Daria Kasatina added to the misery for luckless USA open victor Sloane Stephens, handing the slumping American her tenth loss in 13 matches since winning the grand slam title in September, 6-4 6-3. In the second set, Martic served for the match at 6-3 5-3 and got to 30-30, but Vondrousova came back and serve for the second set at 6-5.
"That's going to be a huge story, maybe the story of the year", men's No 1 Roger Federer said of Serena's comeback. "I thought I was in control of the point and winning the point, and she turned it around. I'm just looking forward to it", said the Japanese youngster. "My room for improvement is incredible", added Serena. "EleVen is about being able to break free of that." - and spoke about Althea Gibson, who will be honored with a statue at the US Open.
"But my body, I was born like that, I think I have my father's body, Spartan body", she says with a smile. She came up short on some shots that she would have made in her prime.
Serena eventually won the tiebreak 7-4 to book her place in the semi-final. Halep reclaimed the ranking just before Indian Wells.
With both sisters qualifying for the year-ending championships at Doha, Serena as the second seed while Venus was seventh.
Not many players can claim that they've spent their offseason practicing with two former world No. 1s but Sakkari had the fortune of doing so in Monte Carlo end of previous year with the Safins.
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