There was zero interaction between the two, not even a furtive glance, when Venus Williams walked past Serena Williams in the Top Seed Open’s warmup area Thursday before their 31st matchup as pros.
Moments later, both headed to the court, each wearing a face covering — Serena sporting a leopard print design, Venus with a light blue medical mask — and were greeted not by the roars of an appreciative audience but basically by silence. Zero fanfare because, well, there are zero fans at the first tennis tournament in the US since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Here we go again’: 31st contest between Serena, Venus Williams marks tennis’s return
When the match began, though, everything seemed normal: hard hitting, big serving. Serena came back and won the last four games to beat her older sister, Venus, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a second-round match — 22 1/2 years after the first between the two.
Folks could be seen laying on the ground to peek through the opening at the bottom of the fence at the back of the court.
“It definitely felt more relaxed than the stadium at Wimbledon or at the U.S. Open,” said Serena, who now leads the all-in-the-family series 19-12. “But it still is not like the practice courts.” (CBC)