INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Tennis fans were treated to the 29th meeting between Venus and Serena Williams on Monday night during the third round at the BNP Paribas Open. It was the earliest meeting in a tournament between the sisters since 1998, but it had nearly the buildup and hype of a Grand Slam final. Just the third match of the younger Williams' sister's comeback from giving birth to her daughter in September, Serena's rust was evident.?
Venus overpowered Serena from the start and emerged victorious, 6-3, 6-4. It was Venus' first win over Serena since 2014, and her first in straight sets since 2008.
And if you weren't able to watch the match and are feeling some serious FOMO right now, don't worry, we got you. Here are the night's best moments, tweets and highlights.
Expectations were high before the match, and fans and fellow players alike were pretty excited, if not conflicted about who to root for.
SERENA VS VENUS comin up very soon! ?? Who's excited?!?! ??????- Melanie Oudin (@melanie_oudin) March 13, 2018
Can't watch Venus vs. Serena. I want them both to win.- Terry McMillan (@MsTerryMcMillan) March 13, 2018
Picking between Venus and Serena is an impossible task. I refuse to watch because I'll be sad either way ?? #BNPPO18- Jacob Luthi (@littleluth13) March 13, 2018
Some fans (Hi, Darren Cahill!) were disappointed to see the match happening in such an early round.
this match should not be happening in a 3rd round. Serena (and all mothers) should be protected by the WTA and allowed to use their protected ranking for seeding, if applicable. Women should not be penalized for giving birth by starting from zero ??- Darren Cahill (@darren_cahill) March 12, 2018
But despite being opponents, the two sisters rode into the stadium on a shared golf cart.
There's something strange and wonderful about watching @serenawilliams and @Venuseswilliams riding to their @BNPPARIBASOPEN match on a golf cart together. pic.twitter.com/dxLhZZyjq3- Benjamin Snyder (@WriterSnyder) March 13, 2018
The crowd was understandably vocal when they took the court.
. @Venuseswilliams and @serenawilliams are about to get underway at @BNPPARIBASOPEN! #VenusSerena29 pic.twitter.com/7DJLp4NlQ4- WTA (@WTA) March 13, 2018
Even World No. 1 Simona Halep, who plays her fourth-round match Tuesday morning, was in attendance.
Tonight I'm just a fan of the game and the Williams sisters ??????Mar 12, 2018 at 7:18pm PDT
And former UFC Light Heavyweight champion UFC Chuck Lidell. He was there, too.
The stars are out tonight! @ChuckLiddell is soaking in #VenusSerena29 #BNPPO18 pic.twitter.com/qrRv7DQgU6- WTA (@WTA) March 13, 2018
It didn't take long for Venus to start dominating once the match began.
. @Venuseswilliams gets the early ace on the board! #BNPPO18 #VenusSerena29 pic.twitter.com/pzE47Smtxe- WTA (@WTA) March 13, 2018
She closed out the first set with a 120 mile-per-hour ace, her third of the game. She had six on the night.
. @Venuseswilliams takes the first set with an ace!- WTA (@WTA) March 13, 2018
She leads 6-3 after 36 minutes of play. #BNPPO18 #VenusSerena29 pic.twitter.com/ouZmXX2CUj
I've never seen the player's boxes of Venus and Serena so subdued.... almost awkward...tough situation for them, showing respect for both sisters!- Chris Evert (@ChrissieEvert) March 13, 2018
Venus opened the second set on a 3-0 tear, but Serena showed some flashes of her signature brilliance (and won the next two):
. @serenawilliams gets the better of a superb rally with a brilliant lob volley! #BNPPO18 #VenusSerena29 pic.twitter.com/LlwC9WdOQY- WTA (@WTA) March 13, 2018
. @serenawilliams delivers the perfect dropshot! #BNPPO18 #VenusSerena29 pic.twitter.com/Mz7Lg1ZDaU- WTA (@WTA) March 13, 2018
But Venus ultimately prevailed and won her 12th career match over her sister. She, as always, was gracious in victory.
"I'm from right down the street in Compton, California. This just shows wherever you come from - if you put in the work and you believe in yourself - you can do anything." - ?? @Venuseswilliams #VenusSerena29 #BNPPO18 pic.twitter.com/TNyNOUkfCr- WTA (@WTA) March 13, 2018
Twitter had a lot of feelings after the match:
I'm salty Serena lost...but then again, I'm happy Venus won...??????- Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) March 13, 2018
Over 20 years of playing each other @WTA, incredible!! I hope there are 10 more meetings. Fun last set.- Pam Shriver (@PHShriver) March 13, 2018
Congrats to Venus on winning tonight in Indian Wells! ???? Incredible serving, forehands & movement!?? And what a treat Serena has given us this week, returning to competitive tennis after being away for over a year. We are truly the lucky ones to have her back on the court. ?? pic.twitter.com/WgFIPQXMH1- Chad (@CCSMOOTH13) March 13, 2018