Serena vs. Venus XXXI: Is an upset in the cards in Lexington?

Serena Williams and Venus Williams will be going head-to-head for the 31st time in their careers on Thursday. Venus looked great in her first-round match, so could an upset be in order?

Venus Williams, already out in Acapulco.

Serena Williams and Venus Williams will be facing each other for the 31st time in their careers when they clash round two of the Top Seed Open in Lexington, Kentucky on Thursday.

The head-to-head series stands at 18-12 in favor of Serena, who most recently dominated 6-1, 6-2 at the 2018 US Open. Yes, it has been almost exactly two years since they last saw each other on the other side of the net – and with Venus aged 40 and Serena aged 38 there was no guarantee it would happen again. Nor is there any guarantee it will happen again after this one. You never know when it will be the end of the sisters’ rivalry.

This marks their first meeting outside of a Grand Slam or premier event since 2008 in Bangalore, India. Venus most recently got the best of her younger sister at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (6-3, 6-4).

Serena Williams before 2020 Australian Open

“I feel like I always play Venus in the first or second round of every tournament, so that’s annoying,” Serena commented.

Although the Lexington draw put them only a few spots away from each other, there was no guarantee this showdown would happen. Venus had to go up against Victoria Azarenka in the first round, but the veteran American made surprisingly quick work of the Belarusian via a 6-3, 6-2 decision. Earlier on Tuesday, Serena found herself down a set against compatriot Bernarda Pera, but the 23-time Grand Slam champion fought back to prevail 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

“One Grand Slam winner, former world No.1, to another,” Venus said of Azarenka and Serena. “It’s been quite the draw for me, but quite honestly, this is perfect, because I haven’t played in forever, so I want to play the best players. And I think I got my wish playing Serena, so here we go.”

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