Tennis fans were left confused with Serena Williams vs Venus Williams

Tennis fans were left confused with Serena Williams vs Venus Williams

Tennis fans were left confused with Serena Williams vs Venus Williams

But the evening belonged unequivocally to Venus Williams, not Serena, in a 6-3, 6-4 win in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open that could be one of the last times the sisters face each other on the women's professional tennis circuit.

Serena leads Venus in their head-to-head 17-12 overall, although Venus has now leveled up WTA Tour meetings at 7-7. It is the earliest they have faced each other since their first encounter at the Australian Open in 1998.

Venus and Serena Williams made history-yet again-on Monday night in Indian Wells.

Serena was a mere shadow of her past self and managed to win just 54 percent of her first serve points in the first set.

Once Venus saved break points in her first two service games, she got into a groove on serve and broke for 4-2. They were supposed to meet in a semifinal in 2001, but Venus pulled out due to a knee injury. Like I said, I have had a few more matches. I think that's going to be a huge story, maybe the story of the year. It's good that I don't have to say that this is the best tennis I have ever played and I lost.

Serena Williams hugs Venus Williams after her loss to her sister during Day 8 of BNP Paribas Open on March 12, 2018, in Indian Wells, California.

Venus's victory also comes 17 years after an ugly booing incident led to a 14-year boycott of the tournament by the sisters. I didn't really feel comfortable out there today. For Serena, it's a notch in the comeback belt: Play in a tournament - check.

But in contrast with the first set, the opening three games went to one player, Venus, 3-0, with two breaks.

Serena said she is trying not to look too far into the season.

Serena spoke late Saturday about how she was not back to 100 percent and is taking her comeback one step at a time.

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

"So I have just got to keep saying each tournament my goal is just to be better than the last, and I don't - definitely don't want to go backwards".

Said Serena Williams at the end of Monday night's match: "There's a silver lining always for me". It's definitely not less disappointing. "I'm playing a completely different player, new challenges".

Williams said she will write down everything she believes she needs to work on heading into Miami, rank them in order of importance and get to work making improvements to her game.

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