Sevastova knocked out of Indian Wells tournament

Venus Williams now moves on to face Anastasija Sevastova. AFP

Venus Williams now moves on to face Anastasija Sevastova. AFP

One sister is rusty, just beginning a comeback after having a baby. She beat Diyas in straight sets. "It nearly doesn't matter, but it would just be awesome to see her do it now".

"I feel like it would be a really fun match".

Among the Williams sisters, the one who had won the first set, was the one who had won 24 out of the 28 matches between them.

That levelled the score at 30-30 and Wozniacki won two out of the next three points she needed to take the third set and the match in the $16 million joint WTA/ATP hardcourt tournament. When she made a mistake, she usually came back with a vengeance.

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

'It was not an easy match to figure out.She has everything in her game. "She just did everything great". But Serena cracked a backhand victor down the line for deuce.

The momentum stayed with Venus and she raced out to a 5-2 lead in the second but struggled to close things out.

Serena threatened a break, but Venus managed to hold on for the win. Venus hung on from there to end their 29th meeting.

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Playing under cloudy skies in 80-degree heat, Williams had her hands full with Sevastova, who used drop shots, top spin, lobs and jerked her 10-years-older opponent side to side. "At least they're in the margin". I definitely don't want to go backwards.

Serena still owns a 17-12 advantage overall, although Venus evened their WTA Tour head-to-head meetings at 7-7.

"I think she should have been actually number one seed in this tournament because she left as number one in the world".

A stone-faced Serena exited the court to cheers, pointing her right index finger in the air.

"She's 16, so she's not scared", Pliskova said of Anisimova. "My room for improvement is incredible", added Serena.

It is for Serena but she is sure to find herself in familiar surroundings - the latter stages of tournaments - soon enough. But 36-year-old Serena was unseeded in this event.

The sisters had met just at the final of Wimbledon just a few months ago with Venus taking the day in three straight sets.

Venus Williams turned back time and reached the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals for the third time in her career.

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Her stamina appeared to get better as the match progressed, and she won several long points.

The sisters were supposed to play each other in the desert in 2001.

Venus called the match "a treat" for fans.

But the beginning of 2018 didn't go according to plan as Sakkari lost her openers in Shenzhen, Sydney, Melbourne, St. Petersburg and Doha before claiming her first of the year in the qualifying rounds in Dubai.

Richard Williams said he heard slurs from the crowd and he paused to shake his fist at them. And no matter who she faces in the semis, she no longer has to deal with the emotion of playing her sister and no longer has to answer questions about Serena. It was also their first duel at Indian Wells, 17 years after Venus pulled out of their semifinal with a knee injury.

Serena didn't return to Indian Wells until 2015, with Venus not coming back until a year later.

From the first minute, the match was intense, as both players showed pace and precision as they hit the ball.

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