Serena Williams’ recent return to the tennis court has been stalled by big sister Venus, who beat the new mother for the first time in nearly four years Monday night in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.
Venus last bested her younger sister at the 2014 Rogers Cup in Montreal, according to ESPN.
“I definitely know her well, but she definitely played a little bit better than she normally does,” Serena said in a post-match interview. “She served very consistently. She just did everything great.”
“It’s different, I haven’t played in over a year. It’s definitely not less disappointing, I wish it was. But then I wouldn’t be who I am. … I just have a long way to go and I look forward to the journey,” Serena added.
Venus also acknowledged that her sister being out on “maternity leave” while she continued to practice may have played a part.
“I’m just lucky that I’ve played more matches than her right now. She just came roaring back. I had chances for the match to be over, but it wasn’t.”
Serena still leads Venus 17-12 in head-to-head matches.