Serena and Venus Williams to Face Off Against Each Other at Top Seed Open After Return to Court
A sister showdown!
According to the Associated Press, the two will play against each other for the 31st time after Serena, 38, beat Bernarda Pera, before her older sister, 40, defeated Victoria Azarenka later that afternoon.
The clash between the two comes a little more than 22 years after they first faced off against each other in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open. The most recent matchup of the athlete siblings came at the 2018 U.S. Open, where Serena defeated Venus.
Serena returned to the court on Tuesday for her first match since the coronavirus pandemic postponed the sport and the tennis legend had a pair of special fans in the audience cheering her on.
Serena's husband, Alexis Ohanian, and their 2-year-old daughter, Alexis Olympia, were seen cheering the athlete on from the stands where only a very small number of individuals were allowed amid the current health crisis.
Speaking to reporters after her win, Serena said that she wasn't watching what her daughter was up to during her game but still had her on her mind after she heard her cough.
"I think I heard her cough, I know my baby's cough," she said. "She was drinking and she was eating grapes. And I'm then like, 'Oh my gosh. Is she chewing? Make sure you chew.'"
She added: "So I didn't look over there but I kind of flashed my husband a look like make sure she's chewing her grapes because she shouldn't be coughing while she's eating grapes. That's the new mom in me and it's good."
Ohanian celebrated his wife's win in an Instagram post, writing, "Mama back at work in Kentucky at the Top Seed Open," before he joked, "And yes @olympiaohanian was busy on her phone probably checking up on @weareangelcity emails."
Next up, both will play in the U.S. Open, which begins later this month on Aug. 31 and runs until Sept. 13.
Serena told PEOPLE in a recent issue that she's ready to adapt to the fans-free environment at the annual Queens tournament, where no crowds are allowed due to safety precautions related to COVID-19.
"I've always played with such a big crowd," Williams said. "Without fans, how will I do? I don't even know. But I look at it as another experience. A wild experience."
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Williams noted to PEOPLE that "tennis is an awesome socially distanced sport," and that she's been training daily at home at the court she had built.
She previously confirmed that she'd be playing in the Open, speaking in a video on the tournament's official Twitter account. "I feel like the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring like everything is amazing and everything is perfect and everyone is safe," she said at the time, adding, "It's going to be exciting."