This was the 29th meeting between the two iconic players, but it's a matchup that will never get old. Going into this match, Serena was 17-11 against her older sister, and had won seven of their previous nine matches.
There was something different about this one, and not just their history at this tournament, where they had never previously met. That is the fact that both players were coming into Indian Wells with some serious rust. Venus hadn't played since losing in straight sets to Belinda Bencic at the Australian Open. Serena, meanwhile, also hadn't played since the Australian Open—in 2017. The 23-time Grand Slam champion was out for over a year after giving birth to her daughter, which included some serious health complications.
With that being the case, Venus came away on top. The 37-year-old defeated Serena 6-3, 6-4, but it was simply special that the two of them were on the court around, competing against one another at a high level. And, as you'll see below, nobody took it for granted.
THE DAILY MIX, WITH JOHN ZINNI AND JOEL DRUCKER, FROM INDIAN WELLS:
SOCIAL MEDIA REACTION:
SERENA VS VENUS comin up very soon! ???? Who’s excited?!?! ????????????
— Melanie Oudin (@melanie_oudin) March 13, 2018
Before the match began, former pro and 2011 US Open mixed doubles champion Melanie Oudin couldn't contain her excitement.
World No. 1 Simona Halep and has a match against Qiang Wang in Indian Wells on Tuesday. That didn't stop her from taking forgoing some extra rest to take in the match.
Venus— Patrick McEnroe (@PatrickMcEnroe) March 13, 2018
Pat McEnroe, 1989 French Open doubles champion, television commentator and brother of seven-time Grand Slam champion John McEnroe, makes a living watching tennis. That, however, is not the reason he is tuning in for this match. He's doing it out of a pure love for the game.
Wow ???? really solid 1st set from VW vs SW23— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) March 13, 2018
Commentator Brad Gilbert, a former professional player and coach, took note of how Venus looked after winning the first set.
I've never seen the player's boxes of Venus and Serena so subdued.... almost awkward...tough situation for them, showing respect for both sisters!— Chris Evert (@ChrissieEvert) March 13, 2018
I have to say.... Venus is playing awesome... https://t.co/yVQMvdVnVN— Chris Evert (@ChrissieEvert) March 13, 2018
Eighteen-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert enjoyed this match, but she also notes that there is some painfully obvious tension that comes from these meetings. It's never easy competing with the ones you love, especially on the national stage. Evert later noted just how well Venus was playing on Monday, and it's hard to disagree. Venus needed to bring her A-game in order to earn her first win over Serena since 2014.
I’m salty Serena lost...but then again, I’m happy Venus won...????????????— Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) March 13, 2018
After the match, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell joined in on the fun. The three-time Pro Bowler is clearly a fan of both Venus and Serena.
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