Serena Williams struggled from one deficit, two games behind in the decisive set to beat sister Venus Williams on Thursday to advance to the quarter-finals of the Top Seed Open.
In the 31st episode of a rivalry between the legendary siblings that went back 22 years, tournament favorite Serena prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a high-profile competition in Lexington, Ky. In the next round she meets Shelby Rogers round.
MORE: Rudy Gobert shares the political post of the fake Serena Williams
The Williams sisters are competing for the first time this week since the WTA Tour season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Venus had a better start to their match. Serena took the 2-0 lead in the opening set, but her older sibling won the next five games to take control.
There were too many mistakes on the part of Serena and Venus made her pay and won the first set point that she made thanks to a powerful serve that could not be returned.
Serena, who has now won 10 of her last 12 complete games from 2009, reacted well in the second round, taking a 4-2 break before finding out that the set should go up.
After a 10-minute break according to the rules of heat, Serena drew the first blood in the decisive set by breaking her opponent across the field with a forehand in the third game.
Venus responded with a break in the following game and then opened up a 4-2 advantage when they converted in the sixth with a forehand winner. However, she was unable to come to terms with Serena winning the next three games and making the most of a double fault to take a 5-4 lead.
The last game came with the serve, although the 23-time major champion dropped 30-15. The end came when Venus failed with a forehand in the middle.