Venus Williams advances to the last eight in Indian Wells

Venus Williams now moves on to face Anastasija Sevastova. AFP

As her match against Zarina Diyas was about to begin, Williams shed her outerwear to reveal two arm sleeves, an early indicator that the visual gun show that usually intimidates opponents would not be on display. It's just the nerves, the anticipation you feel naturally.

For her part, Serena told the Times that a loss is a loss and that falling to her sister doesn't make it less disappointing. "I'm playing my best matches against the best players", she said. "It's just real talent".

Venus finished off the 36-minute opening set with back-to-back aces and broke early in the second set against her sibling, who is playing her first WTA event since giving birth in September.

Williams now has a much-needed day off before facing 27th-ranked Carla Suarez Navarro in the quarters Thursday.

Simona Halep is on track to retain her No. 1 world ranking after defeating Wang Qiang of China 7-5, 6-1 in the fourth round.

Pliskova advances to meet Naomi Osaka, a 6-1, 5-7, 6-1 victor over Greece's Maria Sakkari. Wozniacki blew a 3-0 lead in the first set and was on the run most of the match before losing for the second time this year to the 20-year-old Russian.

"I think the big difference is, I've played her more than [Sevastova]", Williams said.

The two-time grand slam victor needed just 33 minutes to seal the opening set after breaking the Frenchwoman's serve on four occasions. I have a lot to improve on. So I have just got to keep saying each tournament my goal is just to be better than the last, and I don't - definitely don't want to go backwards. "So quite simple rule". It was also their first duel at Indian Wells, 17 years after Venus pulled out of their semifinal with a knee injury.

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Next up for Halep is Petra Martic of Croatia, who beat Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-6 (4).

Venus moved on to the last 16 and faces Anastasija Sevastova, who defeated 12th-seeded Julia Gorges 6-3, 6-3 on Monday.

"She's 16, so she's not scared", Pliskova said of Anisimova. "I think everything is pretty solid".

However, Venus held on to her advantage and beat her sister in two straight sets for the first time since the 2008 Wimbledon final. "It's a great thing what they do for sport, and it's great that tennis has them". "I just have a long way to go", Serena said. Cuevas was leading 3-6, 6-4, 4-2 when Thiem packed it in.

It was the match of the tournament as with Venus taking the first set 7-5 before Serena bounced back to take the second 6-4.

Herbert remains in contention for the $1 million bonus offered to a player who sweeps the singles and doubles titles. "EleVen is about being able to break free of that." - and spoke about Althea Gibson, who will be honored with a statue at the US Open.

"I'm not thinking about that".

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