BNP Paribas Open, ??? Indian Wells R3 Preview
?? (9) Venus Williams vs. ?? Serena Williams
A blockbuster third round clash from Indian Wells sees the Williams sisters go head-to-head for 29th time on Monday evening at the BNP Paribas Open. This promises to be one of the most special matches between the pair, their first meeting since Serena became a mother, 17 years after their infamous scheduled meeting in Indian Wells. This match will be a celebration of all they achieved. a full circle moment since the horrible scenes of 2001. On court, this looks like the greatest chance Venus has to beat Serena in a while.
Venus Williams has not played much tennis in 2018, the American suffered consecutive first round losses in Australia before winning a couple of matches in a Fed Cup tie against the Netherlands. Venus kickstarted her Indian Wells campaign on Saturday with a decent performance as she defeated Sorana Cirstea 6-3 6-4. Venus looked much sharper than she had in previous matches this year.
Serena Williams has made an outstanding return to the tour, claiming a couple of straight set victories in her first tournament since winning the Australian Open last year. Serena has come up against a pair of inspired opponents, beating Zarina Diyas 7-5 6-3 and Kiki Bertens 7-6 7-5. Serena faced difficult moments in each set but on each occasion she was too strong in the critical moments which has been her trademark over the years. Importantly, Serena’s speed, movement, serve and strength seem to all still be there, it seems like Serena will be contending for the biggest title sooner rather than later, perhaps even at the BNP Paribas Open.
Serena holds a 17-11 head-to-head record over Venus. Serena has won 7 of the last 9 matches between the pair. Most recently Serena defeated Venus in last year’s Australian Open final.