Serena Williams has revealed she would have preferred to play "literally anybody else" as she prepares to face her sister Venus for the 29th time at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Williams returned to competitive singles action for the first time in 14 months as she comfortably defeated Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas in a straight set 7-5, 6-3 win on Thursday last week.

The 36-year-old proceeded to make it two in a row as she got past Holland's Kiki Bertens in a 7-6, 7-5 victory on Saturday.

She will now face Venus, who was coincidentally the last person she faced before her long lay-off due to injury and eventual pregnancy, as she defeated her sister 6-4, 6-4 in the final of the 2017 Australian Open to win a 23rd Grand Slam, just one behind Margaret Court's record of 24.

Already pregnant during her win in Melbourne, which made it 17 wins in 28 meetings against her sibling, Williams was hoping to play someone else in the third round in California, but has come to terms with her opponent.

"Everything is a bonus," Serena said after winning her second competitive match since the 2017 Australian Open.

"I would prefer to play someone else [other than Venus], anybody else, literally anybody else, but it has to happen now. So it is what it is."

Venus, who has not defeated Serena in their last three meetings since 2014 in Canada, got past Romania's Sorana Cirstea in straight sets to reach this stage and was full of praise for her younger sister's performances since returning to action.

"She looked like she never lost a step," Venus stated. "Great way to come back."

Serena was due to play at Indian Wells last year after her Australian Open triumph but eventually had to withdraw due to a knee injury. She then revealed in April that she was 20 weeks pregnant and would take time off the sport. She eventually gave birth to their daughter Alexis Olympia on Sept. 1.

The American was expected to return to the Australian Open this year to defend her crown but had to withdraw from the event as she was not completely prepared for the first Grand Slam of the year. Should she emerge victorious at Indian Wells, the unranked Williams will not only earn 1,000 points to crack the top 60 of the WTA rankings but also win a 73rd career singles title.

Meanwhile, defending Indian Wells champion Elena Vesnina also progressed to the third round after a three-set win over America's Catherine Bellis and will now face world number 10 Angelique Kerber.

Reigning Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki and fourth seed Elina Svitolina are also through to the third round after respective wins over Lara Arruabarrena and Mona Barthel.

Wozniacki will now face Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnovich while Svitolina will clash with Spain's Carla Suárez Navarro.

All the third round matches will take place on Monday.