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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / March 19.
  • At Indian Wells, Venus beats Serena for first time since 2014

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    Venus Williams has beaten her younger sister Serena for the first time since 2014.

    In their third-round clash at the BNP Paribas Open, No. 8-seeded Venus prevailed over her unseeded sister, 6-3, 6-4.

    It was their first meeting at Indian Wells and their first meeting as aunt and mother. Venus is 37, Serena 36.

    Serena still leads 17-12 all-time and has won 8 of their last 10 meetings, most recently the Australian Open final last year.

    “She played so well,” Venus, the oldest woman in the draw, said on court of Serena, who committed 41 unforced errors. “It was such a treat for everyone to see this match so early in her comeback. And I always know that it’s never over until it’s over. She just came roaring back. I had chances for the match to be over but it wasn’t. I’m just lucky that I’ve played more matches than her right now. Otherwise, yeah.”

    After closing out the first set on her serve, Venus earned a double-break to seize a 3-0 lead in the second set.

    Serena broke back and closed to within 2-3. But Venus broke again in the seventh game for a 5-2 lead. She then had an opportunity to close out the match on her serve, but double-faulted on break point. She finally won it on match point No. 2.

    It was their earliest meeting since the sisters’ first match in the series, a straight-sets victory by Venus in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.

    “Obviously, I wish it was anybody else in the draw, literally anybody, but that’s OK,”Serena said before the match. “Just have to go out there and see how I am and do my best.”

    Serena is still rounding into form after giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., Sept. 1. Williams had told Vogue magazine that she developed several small blood clots in her lungs after her daughter was born. The article said that she was unable to get out of bed for the first six weeks after giving birth.

    The all-time Open Era champ with 23 Grand Slam singles titles, Serena has made it clear that she wants to tie, and pass, Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24.

    Venus is coming off one of the best recent years of her career, reaching the finals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon. But keeping her run going near where she grew up has special meaning.

    “I’m from right down the street in Compton, Calif., and this just shows wherever you come from, if you put in the work and you believe in yourself,” Venus said, “you can do anything.”

    (The AP contributed reporting; Photograph: Crystal Chatham/AP)

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.