"I think it's a huge difference to play her in the semifinals or even the quarterfinals or a final as opposed to a third round", Serena said. When she entered the court, she was given a loud ovation from the packed arena, with many in the stadium standing and applauding her third appearance in Indian Wells in the last 17 years.
Not only is Venus now more match fit - this is her 13th WTA event over the past 12 months, and Serena's first - but the earlier in the tournament they play each other, the more it has favoured Venus.
The news of her new beauty line comes just days after her first match (and win) after a 14-month break surrounding the birth of her first child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian.
"It's definitely not easy".
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Venus Williams, speaking Saturday before her sister's match, said: "She's playing really well and just honing her game".
Asked about the semi-final match that never happened, Serena said she has tried to forget. "Great way to come back".
The younger of the two, Serena holds a better career head-to-head record over Venus of 17-11., with only 10 matches going to a decider. It's against this opponent that Serena has had some career-defining moments.
The American who already has two Indian Wells title is vying to become the first woman to make it three here clinched her victory on the second match point when Bertens blasted a forehand as she broke the Dutch's serve six times.
The sisters' father was then accused of fixing matches between his daughters and predetermining who would win on any particular day. Williams recently filed a trademark request for the name Aneres (the name of her clothing line and also Serena spelled backward) for a beauty brand with multiple product categories that could include skin care, fragrance, lipstick, eye shadow, mascara and makeup-removing products, among others. "You know, we can always stay in the tournament longer if the both of us are in the tournament", Serena said.