KEY POINTS

  • Serena Williams faces sister Venus for the 31st time
  • Serena Williams leads the head-to-head, 18-12
  • Both are struggling to recall their old form with Serena winning their last clash

Serena Willians and Venus Williams sealed a second-round clash in the Top Seed Open downing separate opponents on Tuesday. The tournament is being staged with no fans in attendance, a first in the United States since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Serena Williams admits that the setting is a bit odd but feels that the calm atmosphere helped her get the win. She downed Bernarda Pera (4-6, 6-4, 6-1) in the first round of the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky, Reuters reported. It was Williams' first taste of action since the Fed Cup in February.

“I can’t say I disliked it. It was different. I’ve been through so many things in my career. I think I won today because I was calm for once, so that was really helpful,” Williams said.

On whether the absence of fans will truly matter for her or not may depend on her next match. She will face her sister Venus in the second round. Venus Williams advanced to the next round after disposing of Victoria  Azarenka (6-3, 6-2).

Serena Williams heads their head-to-head duel, 18-12. The last time they faced each other was at the 2018 U.S. Open. Serena won (6-1, 6-2) in the Round of 32 on the hard surface. During the same year, both also clashed at the Indian Wells Masters in the Round of 32 which Venus won (6-3, 6-4).

Heading into this clash, there could be some added motivation at the end of the two players. On Serena Williams' end, she has been on a slump, failing to hit her mark in four tournaments. The last time she won a Singles major event was in 2017 when she copped the Australian Open, ironically at the expense of her sister (6-4, 6-4).

For Venus, she has not won a major tourney since the 2008 Wimbledon. Curiously, that came at the expense of her sister Serena (7-5, 6-4).

Serena has been struggling to recall her old form since giving birth to a daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. The only singles title she has won since becoming a mother was the 2020 ASB Classic. She defeated Jessica Pegula in the final, SI.com reported.

Serena Williams and Venus Williams, seen here playing doubles at the 2013 US Open, teamed up in an Instagram live workout offering keep-fit tips during coronavirus quarantine Serena Williams and Venus Williams, seen here playing doubles at the 2013 US Open, teamed up in an Instagram live workout offering keep-fit tips during coronavirus quarantine Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AL BELLO

Venus Williams has not done that well either. Since that car accident in June 2017 where a 78-year-old man was killed and leaving one injured. She was cleared of charges later that year. Both sisters have plenty of reasons to come out with a win in the second round though it will take place in an unusual environment.