Serena Williams: 'My room for improvement is incredible'

Losing no easier for demanding Serena

Losing no easier for demanding Serena

Pliskova advances to meet Naomi Osaka, a 6-1, 5-7, 6-1 victor over Greece's Maria Sakkari. Cuevas was leading 3-6, 6-4, 4-2 when Thiem packed it in.

On Monday night, Venus Williams beat Serena Williams 6-3, 6-4, ending Serena Williams' first tournament back from a 14-month maternity leave.

Seventeen years after their first match in Indian Wells failed to materialise, Venus and Serena Williams finally faced each other across the net in the desert.

"[Serena's] level is super high and it was very hard to close out the match, just getting one ball back", Venus said.

"It was not an easy match to figure out.She has everything in her game".

"Missing shots that I never miss, and so close", Serena said.

Darren Cahill, the ESPN commentator who also coaches world No. 1 Simona Halep, tweeted on Monday that he feels the WTA should allow players returning from maternity leave to have a protected seeding, not just a protected ranking. You know, it's a little bit of everything that comes in a match that just doesn't normally happen.' On planning her season hereafter, she mentioned, 'I think I am going tournament by tournament.

After blowing through the first two rounds of the BNP Paribas Open, defeating Zarina Diyas and Kiki Bertens, Serena's comeback was thwarted when she faced her sister for the 29th time. It was their earliest meeting in a WTA Tour event since their first duel in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.

The sisters arrived outside the stadium together on a golf cart then walked through the tunnel with Serena entering the court first with many in the crowd standing and cheering.

Sevastova went up 3-0 in the second set but won just one more game as Williams pulled away.

Despite the loss Serena still leads their career series 17-12.

This was their first encounter with Venus as an aunt and Serena as a new mother after giving birth to her baby daughter, Alexis Olympia, on September 1.

Meanwhile, the 37 year old Venus Williams has leaped to the quarterfinals of the Indian Wells tournament where she will be meeting the 27 seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro.

But for some it brought closure to the once testy relationship between Indian Wells and the sisters who hail from the Los Angeles suburb of Compton. She looked like Serena most of the time. "That's also why you see a lot of upsets", she said. Wozniacki won the first Grand Slam title of her career earlier this year at the Australian Open.

She was the 2017 Australian Open champion, beating Venus in the final while eight weeks pregnant.