Williams Sisters Face Early Showdown at U.S. Open

Serena and Venus to meet in the third round at Flushing Meadows

It'll be the 30th time Serena and Venus Williams have faced each other, but their meeting U.S. Open on Friday will still be historic.

Because of their low seedings the pair will clash in the third round, which is the earliest they’ve played each other at a grand slam tournament since their very first professional encounter two decades ago.

Back to the Beginning

That first meeting, at the 1998 Australia Open second round, saw Venus come out on top.

Fast forward two decades and Serena holds a 17-12 advantage over her elder sibling.

In that time the sisters have been the backbone of US women’s tennis.

Together, they've gathered a combined 30 Grand Slam singles titles, each won Olympic golds in singles, and claimed the Olympic doubles title together three times.

This time around Venus is hoping for a fairer fight compared to the last time they met in a Grand Slam.

The New York Story So Far

To get here, Venus defeated Camila Giorgi 6-4, 7-5 in the second round.

Serena beat Carina Witthoft also in straig sets, 6-2, 6-2, to “twirl” her way into the third-round showdown against Venus on day five.

Twirling into Friday!! ✨ _ @usopen #usopen

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

A Mixed Year

In 2001 the sisters battled it out for the U.S. Open title, but this time around they’ll be fighting for a place in the final 32.

It's a sign of how their lives have changed in recent years.

At 38 years old, Venus is sixteenth seed at Flushing Meadows but still packing a punch in the twilight of her singles career.

The 36-year-old Serena is seeded 26 as she continues her return after giving birth to daughter Ohana.

The sisters did play each other at Indian Wells earlier this year, Serena’s first tournament back. Venus won that 29th encounter but Serena has sharpened her game tremendously since then, even reaching the final at Wimbledon in July.

The world will be watching Arthur Ashe Stadium to see which Williams will progress to the round of 16.

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