Years After Being Booed, Serena Books Venus at Indian Wells

Years After Being Booed, Serena Books Venus at Indian Wells

Years After Being Booed, Serena Books Venus at Indian Wells

Serena Williams continued her comeback at Indian Wells on Saturday, defeating 29th seed Kiki Bertens to set up a third-round match with sister Venus.

"She looked like she never lost a step", Venus commented on her Serena's tournament play so far.

Prior to her return to professional tennis, she has played in two minor matches - an exhibition game in Abu Dhabi last December and a doubles rubber to represent the US Fed Cup team against the Netherlands in February. "I definitely don't have a favorite match". But I have to play a seed regardless, sooner than later most times for the next couple of tournaments, so I have to be ready.

Still showing some rust from her long layoff, Serena hit just one ace and made 37 unforced errors to 32 for Bertens.

"I'm just happy to be out here".

Serena, who gave birth to her first child six months ago, has not played a full tournament since the 2017 Australian Open when she was in the early stages of her pregnancy with daughter Alexis.

After Serena defeated Clijsters, she did not return to Indian Wells until 2015, while Venus did not end her boycott until the following year.

"Obviously I wish it was anybody else in the draw, literally anybody, but that's okay", Serena said.

Ekaterina Makarova of Russian Federation led 10th-seeded Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-3 when their match was stopped in the opening game of the second set with Kerber holding a break point. "Whether I win or lose, there's so much more to my life". She takes a career head-to-head record over Venus of 17-11 into their third-round clash.

Also moving into the third round was Caroline Wozniaki, the Danish second seed recording a routine 6-4 6-1 win over Lara Arruabarrena.

The 23-year-old Svitolina advances to the third round where she will face Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro who beat Hsieh Su-Wei, of Taiwan, 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

The Australian toughed it out in a first set tiebreaker before easing to a 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 victory.

Fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem fired 10 aces to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; No. 7 Kevin Anderson defeated Evgeny Donskoy 7-5, 6-4; and No. 12 Tomas Berdych rolled past German Maximilian Marterer 6-1, 6-4 in just over an hour.

Saturday night rain caused the suspension of one women's singles match and the postponement of another.

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