Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Economy | By

Serena Williams wins 2nd match of comeback, will play sister Venus next

Serena Williams wins 2nd match of comeback, will play sister Venus next

It's hard to believe an event Serena has called "one of the darkest moments of my career" is not on her mind each time she walks onto the court at Indian Wells.

The 36-year-old new mother beat 29th-seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 7-6 (5), 7-5 on Saturday in the BNP Paribas Open, setting up a third-round showdown with her older sister, eighth-seeded Venus Williams.

7-5 to progress in her first tournament in 14 months following the birth of her child. Not only did she and her now-husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, welcome their daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., six months ago, they also exchanged vows last November.

Serena Williams was ragged at times but used her power to wear down the Dutch 29th seed in Indian Wells, California. "It really means the world to me to be able to be here and play and enjoy myself and do what I like to do". Whether it's Venus or anyone else, it's going to be someone.

"I would prefer to play someone else, anybody else, literally anybody else, but it has to happen now".

Former world number one Serena Williams won her first singles match on the WTA Tour for almost 14 months as she returned after the birth of her child.

Serena Williams didn't agree with that assessment, saying, "I'm getting there".

Her stamina appeared to get better as the match progressed, and she won several long points. She was ousted in the first round itself at Indian Wells by Naomi Osaka. "I know I'll make mistakes and I'm OK with that". Serena has a 17-11 head-to-head lead.

Venus in her new conference, talked about where Serena's game is right now coming back from having a baby: "She's playing really well and just honing her game". It takes time to get back.' About retirement, she said, 'When I just wake up and I don't feel that tennis is something I want to do.

"She's been incredibly helpful", Williams said. "When she's missing, it's not by much". "It was incredible. It's been over a year and a kid later", she shared.

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 start of the match had been delayed several minutes by light rain in a precursor of worse weather to come.

Victoria Azarenka, victor of the tournament in 2012 and 2016, sent the British Heather Watson packing 6-4 and 6-2, and is now set to face world number 13 Sloane Stephens.

No other spectator present that day has confirmed publicly that such statements were made.

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