Key Biscayne, Fla. Big sis won for a change in the latest Williams family showdown, and little sis took it poorly.
Venus Williams ended a streak of six consecutive losses to sister Serena, winning, 6-1, 7-6 (8), Tuesday in the quarterfinals of the Nasdaq-100 Open.
Meeting for the first time since July 2003, the sisters produced the same tense, sloppy tennis that has marred the rivalry in the past. But there was plenty of effort and emotion.
When Serena lost the first five games, she took an angry swipe at the hardcourt and mangled her racket, prompting jeers from the crowd in a stadium that was only two-thirds full.
Then, when Venus smacked a crosscourt winner for a 3-2 lead in the second set, she walked to her chair with a glare, her teeth gritted in determination, while Serena admonished herself and screamed a profanity.
In the tiebreaker, Serena pushed a forehand into the net to fall behind 9-8, then flung her racket and buried her face in her hands. She sailed a backhand long on match point, and Venus raised her arms in jubilation.
The sisters met at the net and hugged, and Venus consoled her younger sister with a pat on the back. Venus grinned and waved to the crowd, then gestured to Serena and applauded by patting her racket.
Venus' opponent in the semifinals Thursday will be No. 2-seeded Maria Sharapova, who disrupted Justine Henin-Hardenne's comeback from a seven-month layoff by winning, 6-1, 6-7 (6), 6-2.
Reaching the men's quarterfinals were top-ranked Roger Federer and six-time Key Biscayne champion Andre Agassi.