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Serena Williams looks to the future after Indian Wells defeat

"It's good that I don't have to say that this is the best tennis I have ever played and I lost. My room for improvement is incredible"

Serena Williams lost to sister Venus on Monday
Image: Serena Williams says she has 'a lot to improve on' after bowing out at Indian Wells

Serena Williams says she has "a long way to go" before finding top form, as she continues her return to tennis.

Williams lost in straight sets to her sister Venus in the third round in Indian Wells on Monday - having been absent from the circuit for 15 months due to her pregnancy.

Venus beats Serena in straight sets
Venus beats Serena in straight sets

Venus Williams beats sister Serena at Indian Wells in straight set

Serena Williams said after the match that she is still feeling her way back to full-match readiness.

"It wasn't very easy, obviously," she said. "It was good to play and try to get in the rhythm and get into the swing again.

"I can't really replicate the situation, no matter how much I do in practice. I make those shots 10 times out of 10 in practice.

"It's just the nerves, the anticipation you feel naturally. It's a little bit of everything that comes in a match that just doesn't normally happen.

"I just have a long way to go."

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It was the earliest the Williams sisters have met in a tournament since their first encounter at the Australian Open back in 1998.

Venus Williams beat sister Serena at Indian Wells in straight sets
Image: Venus Williams beat sister Serena at Indian Wells in straight sets

And her 6-3 6-4 win sets Venus up for a round-of-16 clash with Anastasija Sevastova, who defeated 12th seed Julia Georges 6-3 6-3.

Serena says she will simply focus on improving match by match.

Asked about her plans, she said: "Get ready for the next tournament. I have a lot to improve on.

"It's good that I don't have to say that this is the best tennis I have ever played and I lost. My room for improvement is incredible.

"So I have just got to keep saying at each tournament that my goal is just to be better than the last. I don't want to go backwards."

You can watch the ATP Masters 1000 from Indian Wells on Sky Sports Arena and via the red button from 6pm on Monday. You can also watch it from 11.15pm on Sky Sports Main Event.

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