Once a heated rivalry that dated back to their first encounter in 1998, Serena Williams and Venus Williams will meet for just the third time since 2010, yet little has changed about the significance of the two titanic sister’s crossing at the Championships. As two former champions in their own right at the All England Club, the Williams sister will kick off Maniac Monday at Wimbledon as the first match on Centre Court – their 26th overall meeting. Serena leads the head-to-head series 14-11.
While tennis fans will now get to see the latest chapter in one of the great tales of the sport’s history, Serena was just a few points away from suffering a shocking exit in the third round of the tournament. Faced with the task of beating British No. 1 Heather Watson on Centre Court, Williams stood firm in the opening set yet was unable to stop the Brit’s barrage in the second frame to force a decider. There, Williams was within two points of losing the match yet held her nerve and eventually closed out he encounter late in the third set 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. She will next encounter her big sister Venus for a spot in the quarter-final.
“We’re going to do the best that we can. I mean, she’s my sister today. She’s my sister next week. She’s my sister next year. I think that’s a little more important than a match. We’ll leave everything out on the court. When it’s done, you know, we’ll go back to regular life.”
Seeded 16th at this year’s tournament, Venus Williams has looked fantastic through the first three matches on grass at Wimbledon. Her latest win was against Aleksandra Krunic, whom she beat 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 11 minutes.
“I think it will be a really good match,” said Serena of Venus. “Yeah, I don’t know. She’s playing so well. I’m practicing next to her every day and I’m in awe of how she’s doing. It’s a little frustrating because I know I have to play her. I just don’t know how I’m going to do, to be honest. Worst case scenario, I don’t do well. I’ll just try to keep moving ahead. Did better than last year. So I guess it’s a step in the right discussion.”
This is scheduled to be the 26th career meeting between the Williams sisters. Serena leads the head-to-head series 14-11 but has not looked her best this week at the Championships. Given that they are 1-1 over the past five years, this will be an exceptionally intriguing contest to determine the outcome.
Prediction: Venus Williams in Three Sets