Serena Williams set up a mouth-watering third round showdown against her sister Venus with a straight-sets victory over Kiki Bertens here at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. I have a long way to go.
Serena was already pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia, who was born on 1 September, when she beat Venus 6-4 6-4 in Melbourne. It will be their earliest match-up at a top-tier tournament since their first encounter, Venus downing Serena at the 1998 Australian Open in the second round.
And when Venus, accompanied by her father Richard, took her seat to watch her sister play Kim Clijsters in the final two days later, the atmosphere turned sour.
WatchESPN: ESPN3 will also have coverage of each individual court at Indian Wells, meaning you may be able to watch this match (Stadium 1) on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the WatchESPN app. "So it is what it is", said Serena. "The undercurrent of racism was painful, confusing and unfair", she wrote.
The two were due to meet in the semi-final of 2001, but Venus Williams withdrew five minutes before the match.
Asked about the semi-final match that never happened, Serena said she has tried to forget. But I call this a trial run, you know. In fact, it's the first time they've met before the Round of 16 since their very first head-to-head matchup more than 20 years ago.
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The early meeting is the result of Serena Williams being unranked and not being among the tournament's 32 seeded female players because of her maternity leave.
Against Bertens, she got in just 54 percent of her first serves and won just 63 percent of her first-serve points, leading to four breaks for her opponent.
"It's a huge difference to play her in the semifinals or even the quarterfinals or a final as opposed to the third round", she said.
In 2015 Serena returned however the tournament will always bring back tough memories for both. Having to play each other in the third round, one of us is going to be gone.
Venus is enjoying a resurgence on the Tour after a string of injuries limited her playing time for several seasons.