Serena Williams started after 15 months break

Venus and Serena Williams

"So it is what it is". The tennis ace gave birth to her first child on September 1 a year ago and this is her first professional tennis tournament post Australian Open 2017, in which she had clinched the title.

Against Bertens, she got in just 54 percent of her first serves and won just 63 percent of her first-serve points, leading to four breaks for her opponent.

She joined American upset winners Sachia Vickery, who beat No 3 seed Garbine Muguruza; 16-year-old wild card Amanda Anisimova, who beat No 23 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova; and wild-card teenager Caroline Dolehide, a three-set victor over No 30 Dominika Cibulkova on Friday.

Serena chose to return in 2015, whilst Venus came back to Indian Wells in 2016. Williams recently filed a trademark request for the name Aneres (the name of her clothing line and also Serena spelled backward) for a beauty brand with multiple product categories that could include skin care, fragrance, lipstick, eye shadow, mascara and makeup-removing products, among others.

In an essay for Time magazine just before her return, she made it clear she feels much of the vitriol was racist in nature. The triumph at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, comes six months after childbirth. 'We can always stay in the tournament longer if the both of us are in the tournament.

"It's a huge difference to play her in the semi-finals or even the quarter-finals or a final as opposed to the third round".

At 37, Venus is the oldest in women's single draw at 2018 Indian Wells. The announcement drew boos from fans, who expressed doubt that she was indeed injured.

The crowd's treatment led to a 14-year boycott by the sisters, which Serena finally ended in 2015. She said their father, Richard, would probably decide - an insinuation that their matches were rigged.

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"That's totally gone out of my mind", she said. In fact, it's the first time they've met before the Round of 16 since their very first head-to-head matchup more than 20 years ago.

Venus is enjoying a resurgence on the Tour after a string of injuries limited her playing time for several seasons.

Venus had a bye in the first round and reached the round of 32 by beating Sorana Cirstea in straight sets.

She fell behind 3-1 early in the second set but rallied by holding serve in the fifth game.

Venus' last defeat of her younger sister was at the Canadian Open in 2014, where she prevailed in a three-set semi-final.

Elsewhere on Saturday, fourth seeded Elina Svitolina defeated Germany's Mona Barthel 6-4, 6-3.

Defending champion, Elena Vesnina of Russian Federation also moved into the third round after she beat American Catherine Bellis 2-6 6-1 6-1.

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