The last time Venus Williams defeated her younger sister Serena on the court was in 2014, but the former No. 1 achieved that feat at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Monday night.
Entering the match, Venus was ranked higher than Serena and the last time that happened was in March 2008 when they fought in Bangalore.
Serena, who just gave birth to her first daughter with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, said that she knows her older sister’s game better than anybody.
“She definitely played a little bit better than she normally does,” the 36-year-old said. “She served very consistently. She just did everything great.”
The 37-year-old, meanwhile, was humble in her victory. She said that Serena is still getting her form back after a long layoff. Venus, meanwhile, has already had more matches under her belt in her effort to get back to the top of the heap in women’s tennis.
“I’m just lucky that I’ve played more matches than her right now,” Venus said. “She just came roaring back. I had chances for the match to be over, but it wasn’t.”
Serena, for her part, said that the loss to her older sister only proves that she still has a long way to go before she can rule the sport once again. But she acknowledged that getting back into the tournament is a good way to shake off the cobwebs. She said that even if she does well on practice, there’s nothing like a true match.
“It’s just the nerves, the anticipation you feel naturally,” she said. “It’s a little bit of everything that comes in a match that just doesn’t normally happen.”
However, Serena also said that she can see the need for improvement so that’s the good news. Her next goal in the next tournament, therefore, is to be better than the last. “I don’t want to go backwards,” she added.