Serena Williams started after 15 months break

Serena Williams started after 15 months break

Other women in the draw are world No.1 Simona Halep, reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki; seven-time Grand Slam victor Venus Williams; 2017 U.S. Open finalist Madison Keys; two-time Grand Slam victor Garbiñe Muguruza and reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

The two were due to meet in the semi-final of 2001, but Venus Williams withdrew five minutes before the match.

But when the siblings face off under the lights in Indian Wells, California, it will still be a hugely significant occasion for the Americans who have combined to win 30 majors and transcended tennis.

It brought closure to the once testy relationship between Indian Wells and the sisters who hail from the Los Angeles suburb of Compton.

In the 28 matches played, Serena has won 17 times compared to Venus' 11 victories.

"I think she's going to be speeding back to the seedings and to winning tournaments sooner than later", Venus said. Serena admitted that she cried in the locker room for "hours" after defeating Clijsters. When she entered the court, she was given a loud ovation from the packed arena, with many in the stadium standing and applauding her third appearance in Indian Wells in the last 17 years.

"Being older again than Serena, myself, it's wonderful to see and I'm very happy for them, you know, especially now watching Serena's comeback since the baby", Federer said. After that, the sisters boycotted Indian Wells for 14 years.

Now unseeded in Indian Wells, Serena has beaten her world No. 8-ranked sister 17 of the last 28 times.

"That's totally gone out of my mind", she said.

Serena still owns a 17-12 advantage overall, although Venus evened their WTA Tour head-to-head meetings at 7-7.

The 29th professional contest between the pair will take place in the first match of Monday's night session.

"It was in juniors", said Serena. Serena showed that there's still a little rust that she needs to shake off, making more unforced errors than she usually commits. But she was really nice. I mean, it's an incredible fascinating story, like you said.

She added: "It's been awesome". Like, I really hate it.

"We have so many great memories". She's lost some lateral speed and power, but did seem to get stronger as the match progressed. I definitely don't have a favorite match. Then, it just happened, and I was like, 'I don't know.' I just dove right in. "It's just afterwards I don't like it as much".

Few have handled Serena - the record 23-time grand slam victor - as well as Venus, as evidenced by their head-to-head record. Venus had dominated the first set and broke Serena's serve and set the tone of the match, keeping intact a noticeable trend in matches they have played against each other.

The tennis ace gave birth to her first child on September 1 previous year and this is her first professional tennis tournament post Australian Open 2017, in which she had clinched the title.

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