The sister show down is complete!
Serena Williams beat her big sister, Venus Williams, 6-1, 6-2 in their highly-anticipated matchup on Friday at the U.S. Open in Queens — their 30th head-to-head match since they first competed against each other 20 years ago.
The sisters — Serena seeded 17th and Venus 16th — played each other in the third round of the Grand Slam tournament. Serena, 36, beat out Venus, 38, with 2-0 in sets and will now move on to the round of 16.
“It’s not easy,” Serena said of beating her big sister Venus in an interview after the match. “She’s my best friend, she means the world to me. She’s so supportive of my career and I’m extremely supportive of her career and every time she loses I feel like I do. So yeah, it’s not very easy, but it’s a tournament and we all know that there’s more to life than just playing each other and playing tennis.”
After rolling her ankle in the second game of the first set, Serena called for a medical timeout and had a trainer wrap her ankle after game three. “I actually roll my ankles a lot, so I just was wanting to get it taped as tight as I could for the rest of the match and see how I feel tomorrow,” she told the interviewer after her win.
The younger of the two Williams sisters proved to be unstoppable after winning the first point back post-ankle taping.
In the first set, Serena held her serve the whole way through, and broke Venus’ in two games. With four aces and an unbreakable serve, she beat her sister 6-1, with the last game being a blowout.
In set number two, Serena continued her winning streak by hitting powerful returns of serve. Venus managed to get two games on her younger sister, but it wasn’t enough to come out on top. Serena won the second set 6-2.
Discussing her post-baby comeback, Serena told the interviewer after the match, “Obviously I played much better today than actually I have since I came back to playing tennis. Absolutely this was my best match since I’ve returned, but I’ve worked for it. You know, I’ve worked really, really hard this past three months, four months, especially the past eight weeks and hopefully everything will keep paying off. That’s just life, you gotta keep going no matter how many downs you have, or how many ups you have you have to keep working hard, and that’s what I’ve tried to do.”
The sisters embraced after the match and Venus gave a wave to the crowd as she walked off the court.
“I love her with all my heart. She’s the reason I’m here,” Serena said of her sister after she left the stadium. “She’s the only reason I’m still out here, so I really owe everything to her, to Jehovah of course, but after God, I definitely owe everything to her.”
Serena’s husband, Alexis Ohanian, cheered on both sisters while he sat in the stands eagerly watching the match. Another sweet spectator was also in the stands: Serena’s dog, Chip!
“Serena’s dog Chip out here living his best life sitting in Serena’s player’s box watching his mom and Aunt Venus play,” a Twitter user captioned a photo of Chip sitting behind Ohanian.
Speaking of family members, Serena also talked about her dad in the post-match interview.
“I hope my dad didn’t watch! It’s his two daughters playing each other, it’s not very easy. I’ll talk to him obviously, tomorrow, and then he’ll be watching again after this match is over. I know he probably is just feeling as nervous as we both were,” she said before sending him a loving message: “Hi dad, I miss you, I love you.”
As she walked off the court, she addressed the crowd one last time: “We’re both winners, thank you guys for the support, I love you so much. Thank you!”
On Monday, Serena defeated Magda Linette and bested German player Carina Witthöft the next day. As for Venus, she was victorious over Svetlana Kuznetsova in her first-round match and beat Camila Giorgi on Wednesday.
Friday’s match marked the 16th time the sisters have played each other at Grand Slams. They first competed against each other professionally in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.
The last time they faced each other in a Grand Slam tournament, Serena was pregnant with her daughter Alexis Olympia (who turns 1 on Saturday).
“The last time we played the Australian it was two against one,” Venus said ahead of Friday’s match, according to USA Today. “At least this time it’s going to [be] fair.”
Days before the latest Grand Slam match, Serena acknowledged that the game would be a “tough” one for her, according to The New York Times.
“Unfortunately and fortunately we have to play each other,” Serena continued. “We make each other better. We bring out the best when we play each other. It’s what we do. So, I think we’re used to it now.”
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Venus and Serena, two of the best to ever play the game, have long shared a love of the game.
In a 1991 interview with Today, the girls’ mother Oracene Price said of her then-rising star daughters, “Sometimes I feel just like it was destiny, you know, for the both of them. Because my first three girls, they went out, they didn’t take to it. But the last two, they liked it a great deal.”