Venus Williams defeated younger sister Serena 6-3, 6-4 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday night, her first win in the sibling rivalry since 2014.
It was the sisters’ earliest meeting since a 17-year-old Venus beat 16-year-old Serena in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open.
They played Monday night for the first time since last year’s Australian Open final when a pregnant Serena won her 23rd Grand Slam title.
Venus closed out the one-hour match on her second match point when Serena’s forehand service return sailed long.
It was one of Serena’s 41 unforced errors, including 17 on the forehand side.
Typically, the sisters wouldn’t meet until the later rounds of a tournament. But 36-year-old Serena was unseeded in this event. Venus, 37, is seeded eighth.
Serena won her first two matches, while Venus received a first-round bye and won her opening match.
The Indian Wells match was 17 years in the making.
The sisters were supposed to play each other in the desert in 2001. A packed stadium awaited their semifinal but shortly before the match was to begin Venus withdrew with a right knee injury.
Serena went on to play Kim Clijsters in the final. Venus and her father Richard were greeted with boos as they made their way to their seats, with some fans believing Richard had been behind Venus’ withdrawal.