Indian Wells marks Serena's first WTA sanctioned tournament in 14 months after she gave birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., on the first of September past year. This is just her third appearance in the California desert in 17 years.
WTA Indian Wells is on Tennis Channel Plus.
Serena Williams is not only the greatest athlete of all time, a dancer extraordinaire, and an advocate for black women's postnatal care, but also, most recently, the brain behind a new cosmetics brand.
Serena made a decision to return in 2015, whilst Venus came back to Indian Wells in 2016.
Serena and Venus Williams won't be meeting in a grand slam Monday and their match won't be a final, either.
"I literally didn't even think about it", Serena replied, when asked whether she was happy the match would finally get to take place. And I go, 'Serena, you're doing good, you're doing good no matter what.
Now unseeded in Indian Wells, Serena has beaten her world No. 8-ranked sister 17 of the last 28 times.
"It's a huge difference to play her in the semifinals or even the quarterfinals or a final as opposed to the third round", she said. "You know, we can always stay in the tournament longer if the both of us are in the tournament", Serena said. "Seventeen years seems like forever ago".
"She gave me the trophy because I was so upset".
Venus is enjoying a resurgence on the Tour after a string of injuries limited her playing time for several seasons. "So it is what it is", the 23-time grand slam champion said.
She fell behind 3-1 early in the second set but rallied by holding serve in the fifth game. Serena leads 17-11 - and has claimed five of their past six meetings.
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.