Kentucky event, Round 2: Williams sisters set for a face-off
World number nine Serena Williams returned to professional tennis on Tuesday, following a long hiatus of six months. In the first round of inaugural Top Seed Open WTA event in Kentucky, top-seeded Williams trounced 60th-ranked Bernarda Pera 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 by staging an emphatic turnaround. Serena will now face her older sister Venus, who romped past two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka, 6-3, 6-2.
I haven't played in so long: Serena Williams
"I just haven't played in so long. Even matches and practice matches, I haven't played. I've just been training. I think it was really good for me to go three sets and win a match that was three sets," Serena stated following the match.
Serena begins the season with an emphatic victory
The 23-time Grand Slam winner, Serena Williams, recently asserted that she is determined to compete at all the major events this year, including the US Open even though a number of marquee players expressed reservations about participating. Notably, she has already clinched a title earlier this year after defeating fellow American Jessica Pegula 6-3, 6-4 at the ASB Classic final.
Serena yet to win a Grand Slam title since 2017
Serena is yet to win a Grand Slam singles title since winning the 2017 Australian Open. Following that, she lost the 2018 US Open final to Naomi Osaka. Williams also lost consecutive Wimbledon finals to Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Venus eyes her maiden singles title this year
World number 67, Venus Williams easily clinched a straight-set victory against Victoria Azarenka (6-3, 6-2). Interestingly, the 40-year-old earned her first win in four attempts this year. Previously, she was handed a defeat by fellow American Coco Gauff in the first round of Australian Open. At the Mexican Open and Monterrey Open, the likes of Kaja Juvan and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova had thrashed Venus.
Venus vs Serena: A look at the head-to-head record
The Williams sisters have advanced to round 2 of the ongoing tournament, wherein they will have a face-off. Notably, the two will meet for the 31st time in professional matches since 1998. Serena leads the race with 18 victories, while Venus owns 12 wins. In the Grand Slam events, Serena has 11 victories as compared to the latter's five.
Venus elated to play Serena at the Kentucky event
Venus expressed her contentment ahead of the high-voltage clash. "Who would've guessed that this draw would've happened playing two former world number ones and Grand Slam champions in the middle of Kentucky?" said Venus. "I know Serena came back from the brink and waited until the last minute to play her best tennis and that's what champions are made of."