Serena sets up third-round clash with sister Venus

All-Williams affair awaits Wozniacki cruises

Serena Williams continued her comeback to tennis with a 7-6 (5) 7-5 win over Kiki Bertens at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday, setting up a third-round encounter with her sister Venus.

She featured in an exhibition match in Dubai and lost to Ostapenko and also played doubles with sister Venus in the Fed Cup.

The first set then featured a tiebreak, where just one mini-break separated both players on the scoreboard as Bertens failed to capitalize on her chances, sending a second-serve return wide and therefore, gifting Williams the first set after 54 minutes of play.

"But I have to play a seed regardless, sooner than later most times for the next couple of tournaments".

"I'm just happy to be out here". Venus was one of the few who were aware that her sister was two months pregnant.

Serena - a two-time champion at Indian Wells - was far from her free-flowing best against Bertens Saturday but she battled past the Dutchman after nearly two hours on court. "I would prefer to play someone else, anybody else, literally anybody else, but it has to happen now".

It will be the 29th between the pair, with Serena leading the head-to-head record 17-11. "Whether I win or lose, there's so much more to my life".

Second seed Caroline Wozniacki had an easy time with qualifer Lara Arruabarrena 6-4, 6-1.

Defending champ Roger Federer's opening match was put on hold on Saturday when play was suspended after heavy rain swept through the California desert.

The third-round match will be their earliest meeting in a tour event since their first duel as professionals, when Venus Williams won, 7-6 (4), 6-1, in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.

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

Fifteenth seeded Madison Keys failed to get past world No. 117 Danielle Collins 6-3, 7-6 (1).

Fifth-seeded Dominic Thiem fired 10 aces to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; No. 7 Kevin Anderson defeated Evgeny Donskoy 7-5, 6-4; and No. 12 Tomas Berdych rolled past German Maximilian Marterer 6-1, 6-4 in just over an hour.

On the men's side, No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov was upset by Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 and No. 16 Fabio Fognini went down against Jeremy Chardy 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

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