Indian Wells: Serena Knocks Out By Sister Venus, Wozniacki Marches On

Serena Williams’ return to the WTA Tour ended on Monday as she crashed out of Indian Wells with a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to her sister Venus Williams.

Venus closed out the 29th career between the duo, her second match point as Serena sailed a forehand long to end the third- round showdown.

It was the first meeting since the final of the 2017 Australian Open between the sisters which Serena won before taking a 15-month hiatus due to her pregnancy.

Serena said she is still easing her way back into match fitness.

“It wasn’t very easy, obviously,” she said. “It was good to play and try to get in the rhythm and get into the swing again.

“I can’t really replicate the situation no matter how much I do in practice. I make those shots 10 times out of 10 in practice.

“It’s just the nerves, the anticipation you feel naturally. It’s a little bit of everything that comes in a match that just doesn’t normally happen.”

The 10th seeded Venus moves on to the round of 16 where she will face Anastasija Sevastova, who defeated 12th seeded Julia Georges 6-3, 6-3.

It is rare for the Williams sisters to play this early in a tournament and the earliest they have faced each other since their first encounter at the Australian Open in 1998.

They arrived outside the stadium together on a golf cart then walked through the tunnel with Serena entering the court first, as many in the crowd stood and cheered.

Venus blasted six aces but had eight double faults in the one hour 26 minute main stadium match in front of a crowd of about 13,000.

Serena is still shaking off the rust after the long layoff as she hit four aces but had her serve broken four times.

“I just have a long way to go,” Serena said.

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.

Venus’s victory also comes 17 years after an ugly booing incident led to a 14-year boycott of the tournament by the sisters.

It brought closure to the once testy relationship between Indian Wells and the sisters who hail from the Los Angeles suburb of Compton. Serena returned to the tournament in 2015 and Venus a year later.

Asked about the incident finally being put to rest, Venus said, “It never crossed my mind.”

Serena said she is trying not to look too far into the season.

“I have a lot to improve on,” she said.

Elsewhere, Australian Open champ Caroline Wozniacki benefited from a challenge call in the final game en route to defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

Wozniacki silenced the critics earlier this year when she claimed her first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, becoming the first Danish woman to win a major.

The 27-year-old world No. 2 Wozniacki moves on to the fourth round where she will face 20th seeded Russian Daria Kasatkina, who surprised reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens 6-4, 6-3.

“I managed to get my feet going more, and to start playing more steady, and that paid off today,” said Wozniacki.

Wozniacki challenged a call in the final game when the line judge ruled that Sasnovich’s shot caught the line. Wozniacki asked for a second look and the review showed that the line judge mistakenly called the ball in.

Wozniacki said the court conditions were difficult but she managed to make adjustments.

“These courts are really difficult to play on. That’s also why you see a lot of upsets,” she said. “The ball bounces really high and it goes extremely slow.”

In other women’s third round matches on Monday, French seventh seed Caroline Garcia defeated Australia’s Daria Gavrilova 7-5, 6-4.

Danielle Collins also won her third round match, defeating Sofya Zhuk of Russia 6-4, 6-4.

Serena To Face Venus In Indian Wells Third Round

Serena Williams will play her sister Venus in the third round at Indian Wells as she continues her comeback after the safe delivery of her daughter.

The 36-year-old American, who was absent for 14 months, beat Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 in round two.

“Everything is a bonus,” said Serena after winning in one hour, 52 minutes on her second match point.

The sisters last met in the 2017 Australian Open final, when Serena won her 23rd Grand Slam singles title.

“I would prefer to play someone else, anybody else, literally anybody else, but it has to happen now. So it is what it is,” said Serena.

Serena was already pregnant with daughter Alexis Olympia, who was born on September 1, when she beat Venus 6-4 6-4 in Melbourne.

Venus beat Sorona Cirstea of Romania in her second-round match 6-3 6-4.

They will play their 29th competitive match on Monday, with Serena having won 17 of the previous 28.

“She looked like she never lost a step,” Venus said of her younger sister. “Great way to come back.”

Defending champion Elena Vesnina of Russia also moved into the third round after she beat American Catherine Bellis 2-6 6-1 6-1.

Danish second seed Caroline Wozniacki beat Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena 6-4 6-1, while Ukrainian fourth seed Elina Svitolina defeated German Mona Barthel 6-4 6-3.

In the men’s competition, world number one and top seed Roger Federer took the first set against Argentina’s Federico Delbonis 6-3.

The Swiss has never beaten Delbonis – though they have only met once on the tour – and the pair were level at 2-2 in the second set when play was suspended for the day because of rain.

They will resume their match on Sunday, when British number one Kyle Edmund faces the experienced Israeli DudiSela in his opening singles match.

Elsewhere, third seed GrigorDimitrov of Bulgaria lost 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-3 to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, but Austrian fifth seed Dominic Thiem beat StefanosTsitsipas of Greece 6-2 3-6 6-3.

Serena Williams Says  Health Issues Killed Her

Serena Williams says she lives in fear of blood clots, a condition that  started during a harrowing postnatal ordeal in September when she almost lost her life in the process of giving birth to her daughter.

In an op-ed piece she wrote for CNN on Tuesday, the tennis legend opened up on on her near-death experience while giving birth to daughter, Olympia, after getting blood clots in her lungs.

“I almost died after giving birth to my daughter,” Williams said.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams said she had to have an emergency Cesarean section surgery after her heart rate plummeted dramatically during contractions. The surgery was successful and before she knew it she was holding the newborn.

“But what followed just 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty,” she said.

In a Vogue magazine interview in January, Williams said that during her postnatal ordeal she suffered a pulmonary embolism — when blood clots block one or more arteries in the lungs.

But this was not the first time the 36-year-old Williams has had a scrape with death from blood clots. In 2011, she spent nearly 12 months incapacitated after a cut on her foot from a piece of broken glass at a Munich restaurant led to a pulmonary embolism.

“Because of my medical history with this problem I live in fear of this situation,” the American said Tuesday.

Williams said that while recovering in the hospital, one day after the emergency Cesarean, she felt short of breath and after some convincing on Williams’ part, the hospital staff finally sent for a CT scan and then put her on a life-saving drip.

Wound popped open

But her ordeal wasn’t over. She started coughing so much from the blood clots that her Cesarean wound popped open.

“I returned to surgery where the doctors found a large hematoma in my abdomen. Then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from travelling to my lungs.

“When I finally made it home to my family I had to spend six weeks of motherhood in bed.”

Williams praised the hospital Tuesday staff saying “if it weren’t for their professional care, I wouldn’t be here today”. She did not reveal the name of the hospital in the CNN piece.

Her kind words though were in contrast to some sharp statements she made in the earlier Vogue article where she says she had to coax the hospital staff to send her for a CT scan and hook her up to an IV.

“I was like a Doppler? I told you, I need a CT scan and a heparin drip (blood thinner),” Williams told the magazine.

Williams said it was a complicated experience and despite the agonizing ups and downs she “considers herself fortunate”.

Partly for surviving the ordeal and also because she can still live out her dream on the tennis court once she returns to competitive form.

The former world number one staged her long-awaited tennis comeback earlier this month by playing alongside her older sister, Venus, in a Federation Cup doubles match but it didn’t go well.

Serena — looking rusty and slow-footed — lost 6-2, 6-3 to the unheralded Dutch pairing of Lesley Kerkhove and Demi Schuurs.

Serena Williams Exicted Over Nigeria’s Participation In Bobsledding At Winter Olympics

Tennis Star, Serena Williams has expressed her joy for Nigeria’s qualification to participate at the Bobsledding part of the Winter Olympics.

The award winning Williams took to her Twitter handle to praise the team for their efforts in making Nigeria appear for the first time in the special Olympics.

It will be recalled that Nigeria will be represented at the Winter Olympics for the first time ever, after their women’s team qualified for the bobsled event at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.

Driver Seun Adigun and brakemen Ngozi Onwumere and Akuoma Omeoga completed the fifth of their required five qualifying races becoming the first African team, men or women, to qualify in the Bobsled category.

In women’s bobsled, teams are required to complete five races to qualify. The Nigeria team, led by driver Adigun – a former African 100m hurdles champion and 2012 summer Olympian – completed races in Utah, one in Whistler, and their final two races in Calgary in 2017.

Serena Williams To Return To Tennis In Abu Dhabi Exhibition

Former world number one Serena Williams will make her much-anticipated competitive return with an exhibition match on the final day of the Mubadala exhibition event on December 30, tournament organisers announced Sunday.

The 36-year-old, who has won an Open-era record 23 Grand Slam singles titles, will take on reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Williams won the Australian Open 11 months ago but has not played since because of pregnancy and the birth of her first child, Alexis Olympia, in September. She has since fallen to 22 in the WTA rankings.

The American, who has never played the 20-year-old Ostapenko, will face the Latvian in the tournament’s first ever women’s match.

“I am delighted to be returning to the court in Abu Dhabi for the first time since the birth of my daughter,” she said in a statement on the tournament’s website.

“The Mubadala World Tennis Championship has long marked the beginning of the men’s global tennis season and I am excited and honoured to be making my comeback as part of the first women to participate in the event.”

Williams can equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles at Melbourne Park next month.

The six-strong men’s field in Abu Dhabi features former world number one Novak Djokovic, who will also be making his comeback.

The Serb has not played competitively since his quarter-final loss at Wimbledon in July because of an elbow injury.

The exhibition tournament, which starts December 28, had earlier lost a couple of star attractions, including multiple Grand Slam champions Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka.


Serena Williams Ties Knot With Heartthrob, Alexis Ohanian In Colourful Wedding

American professional tennis player, Serena Williams, and Reddit co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, on Thursday tied the nuptial knot in New Orleans.

Serena stormed the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ themed event in a £2.6 million custom-made Alexander McQueen ball gown.

The ceremony came weeks after the birth of their daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

The star-studded wedding was witnessed by close friends and family members including award-winning pop star Beyonce, Kim Kardashian, Ciara, Tina Knowles, Kelly Rowland and sister, Venus Williams.

Mr. Ohanian shared a photo of the wedding with a heartfelt message.

“@serenawilliams: You are the greatest of all time, not just in sport–I’m talking about as a mother and as a wife. I am so excited to write so many more chapters of our fairy tale together. And my whole life I didn’t even realize it, but I was waiting for this moment. And everything that I have done, everything that I am so proud of in my career, and in my life, for the last 34 years, pales in comparison to what we’re doing today. And I am so grateful, and I am so in love. 📸@[email protected]”, he said.

According the SKY News, the couple met by chance at a hotel in Rome. While she was there to play in the Italian open, he was there for a conference.

About 18 months later, Mr. Ohanian proposed to her in the same hotel and at the same table where they first met.

Pictures From Serena Williams’ Pre-Wedding Girls Weekend

Olympic gold medalist and new mother Serena Williams celebrated her upcoming wedding to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian with her family and friends during a glamorous pre-wedding girls’ weekend in New York.


Serena, her sister Venus, mother Oracene, friends Ciara & Lala Anthony and other guests took a party bus to a restaurant for dinner. The venue was decorated with flowers, a balloon shaped like an engagement ring and had a four-tier cake covered in pink frosting and sparkly decorations.

Triumphant Venus Quiet About Serena’s New Baby At US Open

Venus Williams gave the public the mother of all silent treatments Friday at the US Open regarding the news of her sister Serena giving birth to a baby girl.

US ninth seed Venus, a seven-time Grand Slam champion and two-time US Open winner, downed 95th-ranked Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-4 to reach the round of 16 on the New York hardcourts.

The achievement was somewhat overshadowed by the much-awaited birth of her younger sister Serena’s baby, one anticipated since she revealed her pregnancy on social media in April.

But Venus, who lost to her pregnant sister in the Australian Open final last January, wasn’t partaking in the joy in public, starting from the first question she faced in a post-match news conference about her emotions when she heard the news.

“I’m definitely available to answer questions about tennis,” Venus said. “That’s all right now.”

It was left for the US Open Twitter page to confirm the birth and offer well-wishes to the family.

“Congratulations to @serenawilliams for giving birth to a baby girl! Sending you (heart emoji) from your friends & family at the #USOpen and @WTA!” the US Open tweeted.

A Florida CBS television station revealed Serena had gone into labor and later that she had given birth, touching off multiple reports and social media congratulation messages.

Spanish third seed Garbine Muguruza, who beat Venus in July’s Wimbledon final, even wished Serena well, saying “I’m very happy for her. It’s such a good moment I’m sure.”

Told the baby was a girl, Muguruza said, “Well, I hope she doesn’t play tennis.”

Muguruza and Venus could meet again in the US Open quarter-finals.

But when Venus took the podium, a moderator reinforced her desire not to talk about the baby, saying “Tennis questions, please,” and later, “Let’s keep it tennis focused.”

After a few sporty inquiries, another attempt at baby comments asked whether the infant has a two-handed backhand or enough depth on her forehand yet.

“Oh, my gosh,” Venus said. “That’s hilarious.”

Venus did reveal she spoke with Serena before the match, although giving away none of the conversation details.

“We always talk. She’s always encouraging me, from every step of the way, every match, always,” Venus said.

“I talked to her before this match, too. She didn’t have any specific advice about this match but more motivational.”

Venus said sometimes their exchanges are done by text, but noted, “We don’t use a lot of emojies at all. We actually use the English language.”

Asked about the birth reports just before she walked onto the court before the match, Venus, the oldest woman in the US Open at age 37, said, “Obviously I’m super excited. Words can’t describe it.”

After the match, an on-court interviewer notedly ignored the subject in questions until ending her remarks by congratulating the Williams family on a wonderful day.

Asked later if it was hard for her to focus on the match, Venus said, “I’m a real professional, because I have been doing this for a long time, so when the first ball starts, it’s a ton of excitement.”