Venus dispatches Serena at Indian Wells

Williams sisters set to face off at BNP Paribas Open

Since she arrived here, Serena Williams has been telling us to temper our expectations.

"I definitely know her well, but she definitely played a little bit better than she normally does", Serena said.

Prior to Monday's Indian Wells event, Venus and Serena's most recent contest against one another was last year's Australian Open final.

Serena was back on the WTA Tour for the first time since ending a 14-month absence during which she gave birth to daughter Alexis Jr. and married Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, who sat courtside.

Venus thus wasn't dwelling on her win Monday.

The recovering Serena expressed disappointment over the result despite just gradually making a return to the court.

"I managed to get my feet going more, and to start playing more steady, and that paid off today", said Wozniacki.

For while Venus was still ranked No8 in the world-indeed a year ago, she was the only woman to reach two Major finals-Serena was unseeded.

During this tournament, Mouratoglou said he and Serena learned a lot about where she is in her comeback and what they need to work on heading into next week's Miami Open.

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With each game, with each match, Williams looked stronger, fitter, more technically sound than she had previously.

Retired mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell sat in the Champions Box near tournament owner Larry Ellison and top-ranked Simona Halep was also in attendance for the match.

Since that unpleasant time, both of the Williams sisters have been well received by the fans in California. Venus did her usual victory pirouette, but still didn't smile.

And that's precisely what Venus did.

Elsewhere, Australian Open champ Caroline Wozniacki benefited from a challenge call in the final game en route to defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

The victor of the first set had won 24 of the 28 previous matches between the sisters, and Venus made it 25 of 29 on Monday. The sisters faced off at the BNP Paribas Open for the first time ever, 17 years after they were scheduled to play in the semifinals. Right now it's Venus: 1 Serena: 0. It was one of Serena's 41 unforced errors, including 17 on the forehand side. "I want to continue to go forward". I have such a long way to go. "I wish it were, but it's not". "It's just afterwards I don't like it as much".

Venus doesn't anticipate that trial run being very long.

What's interesting about the name Serena has chose is that the Olympic gold victor had chosen the same brand name in the past for her own clothing line, the plans for which seem deferred for now. "That's all I see".

"I haven't played in over a year".

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