Tennis

Two decades on, Williams rivaly still strong

Serena Williams of the US celebrates her victory against Venus Williams of the US during the women's singles final on day 13 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 28, 2017.
Serena Williams of the US celebrates her victory against Venus Williams of the US during the women's singles final on day 13 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 28, 2017. Jack THOMAS / POOL / AFP

When Venus meets Serena at the US open on Friday it will be the 30th time the sisters meet. Their first clash was almost exactly 20 years ago.

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If the third-round clash is a little earlier than they would like, it's still a fascinating match-up as they headline the night's action on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Serena is seeking a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam title and her first since the birth of daughter Olympia last September.

She holds a 17-12 career record over her big sister, whose seven Grand Slam titles include back-to-back US Opens in 2000 and 2001.

Here's a look at some of their more memorable matches:

  • 1998 Australian Open 2nd round

It wasn’t a great match but it was the first meeting between the two sisters.

Venus, 17 at the time, triumphed 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 which was expected as she was ranked 16 in the world while 16-year-old Serena was down at 53.

  • 2003 Australian Open final

One of the most dramatic finals between the sisters came in the heat of Melbourne, when Serena clinched the last Grand Slam title to elude her with a tension-filled 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-4 victory.

It was only the sixth time a woman had held all four of Grand Slams at the same time and the first since Steffi Graf in 1994.

  • 2008 Wimbledon final

Venus clinched her fifth Wimbledon title with a 7-5, 6-4 win in one of the few really high-quality clashes between the pair at the All England Club.

Venus defied blustery conditions to become one of only four players to lift the trophy five times or more in the modern era.

  • 2009 Dubai semi-final

Venus beat top ranked Serena 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 (7/3) to take a 10-9 lead in the sibling rivalry.

It was Venus's fifth win in their last seven meetings but Serena earned plenty of plaudits as well for defying the pain of a knee injury that had forced her to retire from a tournament the previous week.

  • 2009 Wimbledon final

Serena ended Venus's two-year reign as Wimbledon champion with a 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 victory that secured her a third All England Club crown.

It was the fourth time the sisters had met in a Wimbledon final, with Serena, who now held the Wimbledon, Australian and US Open crowns, winning three of those showpiece showdowns.

  • 2017 Australian Open final

Serena secured her seventh Australian Open and an Open-era record 23rd Grand Slam singles title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory, just one shy of Australian Margaret Court's all-time mark of 24.

It may not have been a classic clash but the enormity of the achievement only became clearer later when it was revealed that Serena was already pregnant with daughter Olympia.

"The last time we met at a Grand Slam, it was two against one," joked Venus after making the third round of the US Open on Wednesday.

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